The Ministry of Health has recently posted on its website a draft circular on pilot making of the electronic medical records at all medical examination and treatment establishments under its management.
As defined in the draft, an electronic medical record (EMR) is the digital version of a paper medical record, which is recorded, displayed and stored by electronic means. EMRs have the same legal validity and properties as their paper versions.
The draft imposes strict requirements on EMR systems, requiring them to meet information technology standards issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications. Particularly, EMR systems must be able to control access to patient information by users, both information technology staff and healthcare workers, at any time, thus ensuring privacy and confidentiality of patient information.
In addition, medical examination and treatment establishments would be required to formulate their own policies on protection of patient information and privacy. Heads of these establishments would decide who will be permitted to access and exploit information of EMRs.
The draft circular is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2019.- (VLLF)