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Second phase of Dubai Health Authority’s electronic records implementation to start in August 2017

Unified electronic medical record (EMR) system to be rolled to more medical facilities across Dubai

This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download: CW Middle East: CW Middle East: Internet of things can help Gulf countries to diversify

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has revealed that the second phase of implementing Salama, a unified electronic medical record (EMR) system will begin in August 2017.

The announcement follows the implementation of Salama in April, at five of the DHA’s medical facilities, including Rashid Hospital, Barsha Health Centre, Airport Medical Centre, Dermatology Centre, and Dubai Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre.

Amani Al Jasmi, director of information technology at the DHA, said Salama will be implemented in Dubai Hospital, Dubai Diabetes Centre and all primary healthcare centres across the emirate.

She added that the third phase will commence in November with Salama being implemented in Latifa Hospital, Hatta Hospital, Thalassemia Centre, Dubai Gynaecology and Fertility Centre and all DHA Medical Fitness Centres.

“The system is so efficient that it has multiple core applications. It integrates 25 applications through a single interface,” said Al Jasmi. “Now the patient’s appointment, queue management, radiology, pharmacy, laboratory information system, dental records, information about the patient on biomedical devices such as dialysis machine, ventilator and cardiac machines, will all be integrated through the EMR.”

Unifying records will help the DHA create a better and more streamlined healthcare delivery system that would ensure patient safety and accuracy.

11,000 DHA employees will be trained to use Salama, while the 60 employees who have worked on implementing Salama have been trained in the UAE and US by the international company Epic.

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The DHA said that while Salama integrates medical records electronically in its public-run healthcare facilities, it is just steps away from facilitating a national unified electronic medical record.

Al Jasmi said that once the implementation phases across all DHA facilities are complete, Salama will integrate with Nabid, the electronic health record (EHR) and a national electronic medical record system. “In two years, every UAE resident will have one integrated medical record,” he said.

Humaid Al Qatami, chairman of the board and director general at DHA, oversaw the first Salama registration of patients and stressed they will only have to register once during their first visit to benefit from Salama.

Integrating medical files

Al Qatami said following the completion of the registration process, each and every patient registered in these centres will have one integrated medical file across all facilities that will help a doctor follow a treatment protocol in the event of a hospital transfer and to ensure homogenous treatment.

Salama is a DHA-wide project that aims to centralise access to records for patients and doctors through the new portal across DHA facilities in the emirate of Dubai.

To date, more than 1.4 million DHA patient medical records and more than 12 million transactions have been transferred to the Salama system, according to the DHA.

Al Qatami said to ensure the smooth transition to the new electronic system, patients are requested to provide their Emirates ID, medical card and health insurance.

The implementation of this project is a milestone for the DHA to achieve the authority and Dubai Government’s ambition to move towards digital healthcare.

A radical shift in electronic health services

Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, director general of the Smart Dubai Office, said the Salama EMR launch by the DHA marks a radical shift in the region’s electronic health services. “This project implementation strengthens the overall infrastructure of the health sector in Dubai and will eventually lead to ensuring customer satisfaction and achieving sustainable development,” she said.

In another development, the DHA’s Pharmaceutical Services Department has announced the adoption of a smart system that monitors the temperature of pharmaceuticals to preserve the quality and safety of medication.

Ali Al Sayed, director of the Pharmaceutical Services Department, said the monitoring is considered one of the most important global issues and one of the biggest challenges international health organisations face, as it directly affects the quality, safety and the effectiveness of the medication.

“After conducting a series of studies on international practices in the field of smart medication management systems, the pharmaceutical services department adopted an international-standard smart system that monitors and tracks the temperatures of medication through the installation of smart devices and tablets that can be controlled and tracked electronically,” said Al Sayed. “These systems aim to guarantee a continuous cold chain that will maintain the quality and safety of pharmaceutical medication.”

Registering and documenting temperature

Al Sayed revealed that the smart system adopted by the DHA includes computer tablets incorporated with the medical refrigerators and refrigerator rooms. He added that these tablets will register and document the temperature automatically, and display the data in a graph format that shows the correct temperature limits and documents them.

“The tablets will also send alerts through text messages and emails in the case that the temperature exceeded the required limit. It will provide electronic reports regarding the medical storage and safety of the medication,” he said. “These systems can also be controlled electronically through their own website.” The small smart technology will document the temperature while transporting the medication from the storage to the DHA pharmacies.

“The system was implemented by the authority to maintain patients’ safety and achieve customer satisfaction, as these systems preserve the safety of the medication by tracking and controlling the temperature the medication is subjected to throughout the transportation process until the medication reaches the patient,” he said.

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