UNDERSTANDING ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is committed to leading the way in providing access to affordable, quality healthcare. To achieve this goal, we have procured and implemented an Electronic Health Record (EHR) for all our Providers.
Our Providers utilize an EHR from eClinicalWorks (eCW) where they can:
- track appointments
- record patient demographics and clinical information
- access detailed analytics on their patients
- conduct telehealth visits with their patients
When health care providers have access to complete and accurate information, patients receive better medical care.
What is an Electronic Record?
An electronic health record is not just a computerized version of your paper chart. It’s a digital record of your health information that can provide your care team with comprehensive health information about you. Over time, it can allow your providers to share important information, across different health care settings, in accordance with local privacy and security requirements.
This is one of the key features of an EHR: It is designed to allow appropriate information sharing beyond the health care provider who first collects the information.
It is built to share information with other providers, such as labs and specialists. It can contain information from all the providers involved in your care in a practice setting, or it can link through secure information networks to information held in other providers’ EHR systems. And, as health information exchange capabilities advance further, the information can move with you—to the specialist, the hospital, the nursing home, and even across islands.
Frequently Asked Questions
Storing health information in an EHR has potential benefits for you as well as for your health care providers. Benefits to you include:
- Better care. With an EHR, all of your health information can be in one place. A networked EHR system can give providers more accurate and complete information about your health, so you receive the best possible care.
- Better care coordination. Having information in electronic form means that it can be shared easily with the people who ensure that you are receiving the care you need. Because providers have the ability to share information with other providers involved in your care, the care you and your family receive is better coordinated.
- More involvement in your care. You can fully take part in decisions about your health and those that you are caring for. By making all your health care providers aware that you have an EHR they will be able to securely share information with you electronically, for example, through a personal health record.
Yes. An electronic health record is more secure than an ordinary paper chart.
Protecting the privacy and security of health information is a top priority of the NHIA and NHI providers. The EHR solution that is being implemented offers best-in-class mechanisms for protecting the privacy and security of health information. User and role-based access privileges, support of strong passwords, maintenance of audit trails and encryption of all data in transit are just a few of the privacy and security features available through the solution.
As always, the privacy of your health information is closely protected. Only healthcare providers and staff directly involved in your care will access your electronic health record.
NHI is committed to leading the way in providing access to affordable, quality health care. With the implementation of the EHR, NHI beneficiary’s data will be collected and analyzed to support the improvement and efficiency of care delivered. This is a very significant and critical step for NHI’s Quality Program. EHRs have the ability to exchange health information electronically and support higher quality and safer care for patients. EHRs also help providers better manage care for patients and provide better health care. When health care providers have access to complete and accurate information, patients receive better medical care. Electronic health records (EHRs) can improve the ability to diagnose diseases and reduce—even prevent—medical errors, improving patient outcomes.
The EHR solution being implemented by the NHIA is a modern cloud-based platform that offers best-in-class mechanisms for safeguarding the privacy and security of health information. The EHR solution is hosted using a ‘private cloud model’ – meaning that each server contains individual databases that are unique to each client – in other words, data from NHI providers will not ‘co-mingle’ with other providers’ data.
Many healthcare organizations around the world are increasingly shifting away from hosting sensitive data from on-premises to the cloud. Mature cloud-based services may offer more robust security mechanisms for protecting health information and offer scalability and redundancy that is difficult to achieve locally. For example, in the event of a natural disaster, cloud-based models offer greater protection to health information than what would be available if all data is hosted on-premises.
Electronic health records make it possible for health care providers to better manage your care through secure use and sharing of health information.
Most health care providers still use paper charts for their patients’ medical records. The NHIA is helping health care providers across the country make the switch to electronic health records.
With the help of electronic health records, your health care providers will have:
- Accurate and complete information about your health. That way they can give you the best possible care, whether during a routine visit or a medical emergency.
- The ability to better coordinate the care they give to you and your family. This is especially important if you or a loved one has a serious medical condition.
- A way to securely share information with you electronically. This means you can more fully take part in decisions about your health and the health of your family.
- Information to help diagnose your health problems sooner, reduce medical errors, and provide safer care at lower costs.
- Use of electronic health records can also:
- Expand your access to affordable care
- Make our health care system more efficient
- Build a healthier future for our nation
A patient portal is a secure online database that gives patients convenient, 24-hour access to personal health information from anywhere with an Internet connection. Using a secure username and password, patients can view health information such as:
- Recent and upcoming doctor visits
- Discharge summaries
- Lab results
- Health tracker information, such as Fitbits
The Patient Portal also allows you to:
- Securely message your doctor
- Schedule non-urgent appointments
- Update contact information
- Complete health questionnaires
- Download and complete forms
- View educational materials
If you change providers or want your records to be accessible by another physician, you can consent to have your information shared with them seamlessly via the EHR.
A phased implementation approach is being undertaken wherein the EHR solution is initially being rolled out to a limited, pilot group of early adopter providers this Fall (October – November 2019). The broader roll-out of the EHR solution to other providers will commence in Winter 2020 with the goal of all current NHI providers being onboarded on the EHR solution by summer 2021.
The implementation of the EHR solution will play a key role in establishing the technological foundation for the NHI program. As the program continues to evolve and mature, the intention will be to create an integrated healthcare system in which healthcare information can be exchanged across providers in different healthcare settings in a digital, secure, and seamless manner. NHIA is committed to engaging with hospitals, lab providers, pharmacies and other key stakeholders throughout the EHR implementation to ensure this work is undertaken with a broader, integrated health system approach in mind.
The outcomes and benefits achieved through our EHR implementation include:
- Digitization of paper-based medical records (50,000+ visits documented so far);
- Cloud-based storage of records to ensure that natural disasters and technology failure do not result in lost data;
- Increased patient engagement through a secure web-based and mobile ‘Patient Portal’;
- Improved health information exchange across care settings; and
- Improved access to care, particularly for residents of the family islands, through telehealth functionality
- Over 90% of beneficiaries surveyed indicated that Telehealth is a good and convenient way to connect with NHI doctor, and that they received good medical care through telehealth
- Over 90% of providers surveyed think Telehealth is an appropriate tool to connect with patients in certain clinical situations
- ~80% of beneficiaries surveyed reported that telehealth services helped them avoid travel costs