The Union health ministry has issued new standards and guidelines for implementation of interoperable electronic health records (EHR), a move seen as the foundation for digitalisation of healthcare data in the country.
The health ministry said the idea that any person in the country can go to any healthcare provider, medical practitioner or pharmacy and access fully integrated health records in electronic format is the vision for "efficient" 21st century healthcare delivery.
‘The Union Health Ministry has notified the Electronic Health Records (EHR) standards 2016 with an aim to introduce a uniform system for creation and maintenance of health records.’
"With an objective to introduce a uniform standard based system for creation and maintenance of EHRs by healthcare providers, the Health Ministry notified EHR standards for India in 2013.
The standards, notified by the ministry, aim to set uniform norms for capturing, storage, retrieval, exchange, and analytics of healthcare data and information, including images and clinical codes. It also puts forth guidelines for maintaining privacy and confidentiality of such information.
An EHR is a collection of various medical records that get generated during any clinical encounter or events. EHR, in line with PM Na rendra Modi's Digital India initiative, will build a cloudbased hospital application where real-time health data will be fed from all hospitals.This will enable the government to streamline data, better analyse health indica tors and formulate strategies accordingly.
The ministry said while notifying the 2013 standards it was understood that they will continue to evolve and will require revision from time to time.
The present standards represent the recommendations of the expert committee constituted by the health ministry to review the earlier notified set of standards.
These standards provide a structured overview of the key EHR standards with respect to the country's healthcare system. The move is also expected to help patients as they would not be required to repeat diagnosis and similar procedures, which will translate into faster treatment at lower cost.