Vietnam Social Security: A commitment to build electronic health records for everyone

15/05/2020 09:05 AM

In the coming time, the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Vietnam Social Security (VSS) will unify to closely coordinate and make a commitment to build electronic health records for people as in the Resolution 20/NQ-TW and other relevant documents, with quality assurance, effectiveness and in accordance with the basis of social insurance code number, serving the professional purposes of health facilities as well as those of management of medical examination and treatment costs in health insurance agencies, etc.

This content plays an important role in the speech of Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long at the meeting with VSS on the coordination and deployment of personal electronic health records in 2020, which took place this morning (May 13). Deputy General Director of VSS Pham Luong Son co-chaired the meeting, with the participation of representatives of professional units of the MoH and VSS.

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long emphasized that the two sides have come to an agreement that the electronic health record database will be centrally implemented and VSS will be responsible for archiving and ensuring network security, as well as centralizing the database. The two sides also pledged to build an electronic health record database within 3 months.

On that basis, the MoH shall review relevant legal provisions and necessary expenses for the development and deployment of electronic health records to report to competent authorities for amendments. At the same time, the MoH will be responsible for revising the plan and issuing regulations on the exploitation, security and use of this data; provided with clear regulations, attaching responsibility to the user, which is the medical facilities, local social insurance agencies as well as doctors, etc.

In addition, the MoH will study and revise the records, essentially reusing medical samples issued by the Medical Services Administration (MoH). The MoH shall require health facilities nationwide to update the list, the number of clinics, medical specialties, and doctors participating in medical services in the whole line in order to serve the medical examination and treatment of health insurance and management. In addition, regulations are also issued for the medical facilities to use electronic health records to serve health management and health insurance payments.

As for VSS, database will be provided in terms of the number of people and health insurance cards to update information, link data and connect with the MoH. Coordinate with IT Department (MoH) to develop and edit software, requesting social security agencies to implement and expand resources for data storage, etc.

Giving a speech at the meeting, Deputy General Director Pham Luong Son expressed his approval and support for the contents of the implementation of electronic health records proposed by the MoH; at the same time pledging to coordinate with the MoH in overcoming difficulties and finding solutions with an aim to effectively performing the set out tasks.

Deputy General Director Pham Luong Son said that the two sides need to set up a technical group and specific requirements for each issue group, thereby giving appropriate solutions for the highest efficiency, such as infrastructure, data management; formulate and promulgate regulations for medical examination and treatment facilities in connecting and providing data, etc.

Sharing at the meeting, Mr. Tran Quy Tuong, Director of IT Department (MoH) said that in June 2018, the IT Department launched the implementation of electronic health records and organized the software acceptance in December 2018. Later, on November 1st, 2019, the MoH held a Appraisal Council meeting to evaluate this software. Based on the guidance of Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, the IT Department also held a meeting with software enterprises in 8 provinces, including: Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Nghe An, Phu Yen, Binh Duong and Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, Lam Dong and Phu Tho.

The overview image of the meeting

Currently, 100% of provinces and cities are aware of the significance  of electronic health records. According to incomplete reports, about 50% of the provinces and cities have applied electronic health records at different scales, ranging from the pilot model in some communes to the whole province.

This year, the MoH will organize training courses on electronic health records for 63 Departments of Health nationwide. After the training is completed, officials of the Department of Health will conduct training for workers of communes, wards and hospitals in the area. Simultaneously, provinces and cities will also actively deploy electronic health records in their localities, ensuring that by the end of 2020, at least 80% of people will be provided with electronic health records.

Specifically, the steps to deploy electronic health records include: Upgrading health record software for provinces; installing health record software for health facilities; establishing training courses for health workers using the software; creating electronic health records for people in the area based on the people’s information at health facilities or by getting information directly; updating information on health record software at medical facilities; exploiting health information on electronic health record software; synchronizing people’s electronic health record data in the province to the National Health Data Center; maintaining IT infrastructure to ensure 24/7 smooth operation of electronic health records system.

In addition, standards need to be developed to link electronic health records with relevant health information systems; to build regulations on usage, management and operation, ensuring information system security; to comply with the regulations on creating, updating and exploiting electronic health records; to build financial mechanism to maintain and operate the system.