One Indian hospital is digitizing patient records.
The Government Rajaji Hospital is in the process of moving its patient records to a document management software in order to make the files more accessible, according to The Hindu. The hospital hopes to complete implementation by November. The records stored online will contain information pertaining to a patient's diagnosis, treatment and prescribed medicines. The hospital caters to thousands of people in the local area.
Digitalization of hospitals a becoming a global trend
Hospitals around the world are making efforts similar to that of the Government Rajaji Hospital. In the United States, the government has set up a series of digitialization thresholds meant to push hospitals to go paperless. The tiers are called stages of Meaningful Use, and are meant to track implementation and utilization of patient electronic health records. The program is divided into three phases, and provides hospitals who meet requirements with incentive payments. Participants in the program must provide proof of their electronic health record utilization on an annual basis in order to maintain their Meaningful Use designation.
Hospitals in South Korea don't even need the incentive, The Korea Herald noted. In one of the globe's most technologically advanced nation's, hospitals are adopting electronic records simply because they're better. In the Southeast Asian country, the adoption rate for electronic medical records has grown from 21.4 percent in 2005 to 77.3 percent in 2010.
"I think the achievement has to do with South Korea's contemporary culture, which is uniquely IT-driven," Yun Jong-hoar, the medical information manager at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, told the publication. "[In this country], no one wants an unnecessary wait. Everyone has smartphones. Efficiency is one of the most appreciated values. [In any sector], the ideal is to have the maximized output with minimal cost and [human] resources. And the local medical industry has obviously been affected by such a culture and sense of value as well."
Now the Government Rajaji Hospital will follow the global trend and go paperless as well. The health care center will receive 160 computers to be distributed across all departments in order to streamline data entry, according to The Hindu. The new system is expected to be up and running by the first week of November. The computerized records are being implemented in other hospitals as well, albeit on a smaller scale, in order to improve information exchange between facilities. This will allow physicians in the other hospitals to access files with just a patient identification number.