If all goes well as per the proposal of the state government, then each resident of the state would have a fully electronic health profile, complete with an electronic identification number.
The profile, which will be stored in an electronic databank, will carry the record of every single medical detail, be it the cough syrup that was prescribed yesterday or the bike accident that made one bed-ridden.
As per the proposal, the government aims to generate an electronic data bank that contains the health profile of each citizen of the state. The profile will have the details of communicable and non-communicable diseases, mental health, disability, age-related problems and other medical records of the individual concerned.
The public health workers will take up the data collection process with the help of specially designed questionnaires dealing with each field of health care.
For data collection, the health workers would be provided with tablets which will have the questionnaires fed into it.
Once the data is compiled, the doctors will also be roped in to upgrade the same during each patient consultation. The doctors will in turn access the health profile of the patient through the unique health number.
“We have already submitted the proposal to the Centre. If funds are sanctioned, the project could be rolled out this year. In the first phase, we hope to have a pilot run in six districts and then expand it to the remaining districts.
“In the initial stage, the system would be restricted to the government hospitals alone. In the later stages, the private practitioners will also be roped in,” said Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan.
Every time a doctor confirms a disease in the patient, it will be updated on a real-time basis in the databank. This means that the government can keep track of outbreaks, generate early warning systems for taking preventive measures and prevent duplication and over-reporting. It also ensures authentic ground-level data collection and updating the various diseases and conditions.
Above all, the system ensures that the doctors are able to get a complete history of the patients’ health condition on the click of a button, thereby helping them make health care choices for the new patients also. It
also helps the doctor in practical matters like deciding on the generic drug most suited to the patient’s health profile.
According to sources with the Health Department, the questionnaires have already been prepared for the various health fields and are in the process of finalisation.
The project, if sanctioned, will be undertaken jointly by the Health Department and the IT Mission in association with the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, Thiruvananthapuram and the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies.