Monday, June 9, 2014

The push for Electronic Health Records and Culture Barriers in Asia

How are physicians using the new electronic tools that are available to them in today's healthcare efforts? Doctors are using them more than ever and each device is used to cater to a different need of the physician providing the care.  In a study detailed at HIT Consultant, they share that of 300 surveyed professionals, 80% use mobile phones in their day to day practices.  Those mobile phones are primarily used to look up drug information.  As for tablets, 61% of physicians are using them.  Their primary use is to access medical research.  There are 55% of physicians using both devices in their practices.

Laptops and desktop computers still have a use.  Physicians use them to chart information and to access and interact with information in electronic health records.  However, as expressed by physicians in research, the desire is to easily transition to be able to use EHRs on tablets.  Patient safety and improved care are at the center of this desire to have easier access to this secure, personal data.  Not only are those two things improved, but it's also easier for physicians to access clinical data which means better answers to questions that are posed outside of the traditional doctor/patient medical setting.

How do the EHR numbers look in Asia?  In Hong Kong specifically, creating quality and effective EHRs has become a part of of the effort to create high quality and effective public health care in the country.  However, there is a missing link between public and private hospitals as most of the private hospitals are still using paper records so there is no crossover between the two systems.  In order to rectify this, the Food and Health Bureau of the country has set up an EHR office.  Although there is a Personal Data Protection Ordinance, there is no specific EHR regulation to dictate how patient privacy is maintained specifically to electronic health records.  Another concern in the region, according to Poon, Wai-yin' Thesis Review of the implementation of electronic health record in Hong Kong, Hong Kong is also seeing a rise in the use of Chinese medicine and there is currently no crossover between the two types of care on these electronic health records.

This September at Partnerships in Clinical Trials Asia, Arun Maseeh, Vice President, Medical Affairs, Cadila Pharmaceuticals, India will join us to look how EHRs are being adopted in various Asian countries and how patients data is being protected.  For more information on this session, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us September 16-18, 2014 in Shanghai, China, as a reader of this blog, you can save 15% off the standard rate when you register to join us and mention code XP1975BLOG.

What do you see as one of the biggest challenges of implementing electronic health records across the various practices and cultures of Asia?

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