KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 – The government’s proposed electronic medical record (EMR) system throughout the country will include a Master Patient Index to record one’s lifetime medical history.
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said the government must undertake key tech reforms to support the management of population health, to improve patient’s experience of care by enabling continuity of care and seamless transfer of information between caregivers, as well as to reduce the per capita cost of health care.
“It is with these aims in mind that we have decided to embark on a journey for nation-wide implementation of Electronic Medical Record (EMR),” Dzulkefly said in a speech during the SNOMED CT Expo organised by international non-profit SNOMED International.
The Systematised Nomenclature of Medicine — Clinical Terms or SNOMED CT, is a health terminology standard managed by SNOMED International.
“Our vision is for the EMR to provide a Master Patient Index encapsulating a lifetime health record that will enhance interoperability between systems used by care providers,” Dzulkefly added.
EMR will allow primary data to be available through a data pipeline that feeds data into different systems within the health care landscape.
The Malaysian Health Data Warehouse (MyHDW), he said, analysed visit data at government hospitals to enable evidence-based decision-making that is accessible via a web browser. MyHDW is reportedly meant to synchronise anonymous medical data from patients in public and private health facilities.
“MyHDW is a trusted source of truth of comprehensive healthcare data structured for query and analysis,” said Dzulkefly.
MyHDW deals with secondary use data, which is the collection and the use of non-identifiable granular patient data such as demographic, clinical and procedural data for purposes other than direct patient care.
“In dealing with sensitive health care data, maintaining data privacy and patient confidentiality is given utmost consideration. The granular data collected from health care facilities undergo Privacy Assurance Service to ensure that the information generated is free from Patient Identifiable Information. The development of MyHDW also complies with provisions in local laws governing personal data protection,” Dzulkefly said.
MyHDW, the minister said, leveraged big data analytics to make strategic business decisions, improve business efficiency, drive revenue growth, as well as create a new and innovative business model.
“The increasing volume of data (structured and unstructured) generated by the data collection systems in the Ministry of Health also requires more efficient ways to manage and analyse these data,” he stated.
“The appeal of SNOMED CT was its ability to enhance the analytic process through relationships between clinical concepts.”
The Health Ministry became a member of the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO) in 2012 and in 2013, a cardiology reference set was created based on Malaysia’s National Cardiovascular Disease (NCVD) registry data items.
The formation of the set was entrusted to the Health Informatics Centre with the guidance of clinicians, while MIMOS Berhad created a proof of concept for the platform and solution, developing the MyHarmony prototype in 2014.
The current implementation of SNOMED CT in MyHarmony allows for the analysis of unstructured data in the form of discharge summaries; and aids automated interpretations that cover a wide range of specialties, disciplines and requirements.
“At present, work is under way for the development of a refset for Oral Health procedures. Soon, the work will include the development of Pathology Refset and a Drug Data Model. There is also ongoing work in Malaysia that involves the mapping of Traditional Chinese Medicine terms from Mandarin to SNOMED CT concepts,” Dzulkefly stated.