Legislation to protect patients’ confidentiality with the implementation of an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system has been completed and will be tabled in the National Assembly soon.
Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony made the disclosure Thursday evening, as he appeared on a weekly virtual programme, ‘The Guyana Dialogue.’
“Very soon that legislation will go to Parliament. We have just concluded discussions on what the parameters would be for an electronic health record system,” Dr Anthony said.
EMRs are real-time and patient-centred records that will provide immediate security to information so that they can be utilised by authorised users.
The electronic system usually contains patients’ medical history, diagnoses, treatment, medications, allergies, and immunisations, as well as radiology and laboratory results.
The health ministry has partnered with United States medical company, Mount Sinai – a world leader in medical science and healthcare, to develop the electronic medical record system locally.
By mid-year, the ministry is aiming to launch a health application (app) for patients to further advance this initiative.
“Patients would have basic data but the idea is that in a few years, we will have a very integrated patient record system. So, when you come to any of our health facilities, you would have a unique identifier. You can present that at any of our facilities and they would be able to pull up your records,” the health minister explained.
The system will also improve efficiency for both medical personnel and patients at any facility.
While this is being implemented on the coastland, medical records for hinterland residents will be digitised through the ‘telemedicine’ project, which is already showing major success in four communities across Region Nine.
Through this project, Community Health Workers (CHWs) will have 24-hour access to specialists from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
CHWs are now consulting with experts to provide better diagnosis, treatment, and management of the patients’ conditions.
“The computer that the Community Health Worker is using, it has an EMR system that is there so that we can document all the patients that come [and] what are their complaints,” Dr Anthony explained.
The implementation of these initiatives is part of the government’s vision of transforming Guyana’s healthcare system.