Malaffi system will link patient records across 2,000 health care facilities
Abu Dhabi: A unified database will soon
allow for electronic medical records to be shared between all health
care facilities in Abu Dhabi, top health care officials announced in the
capitalon January 23.
The database will be part of the Health
Information Exchange, a centralised electronic platform designed to
enhance health care connectivity. Titled Malaffi, the platform has
already connected 18 hospitals and 65 medical centres and clinics. “The
new database has been designed to reduce errors, duplication of
treatment and testing, and support the efforts of health care
professionals. We are witnessing a new milestone in Abu Dhabi’s health
care sector,” said Abdullah Al Hamed, chairman at the Abu Dhabi’s health
care regulator, the Department of Health.
18 Hospitals already linked to the Malaffi system
Al Hamed was speaking at an event held to
officially launch Malaffi, where it was announced that six health care
providers have already joined the platform. They include public health
provider Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), Cleveland Clinic Abu
Dhabi, Imperial College Diabetes Centre, Healthpoint, United Eastern
Medical Services and Oasis Hospital in Al Ain.
Public health care facilities in the emirate
have used a shared database since 2008, but information stored on it
was not shared with other facilities outside the Seha network. In
practice, doctors still rely on patient testimonies to develop medical
65 Medical centres and clinics by Malaff
By the end of 2019, all 2,000 public and
private health care providers are expected to be on Malaffi, which is
being developed in collaboration with Injazat Data Systems, a subsidiary
of Abu Dhabi Government-owned investment firm, Mubadala. It will be
operated by a new project company, Abu Dhabi Health Data Services.
Once complete, the records of more than three million patients will be included on the database.
“The benefits will be substantial, even
though they cannot be fully predicted as this will be the first health
information exchange system in the region. Most notably, patients will
not have to remember all their past medical details. Not only will this
be convenient, but it will also reduce errors when a patient is taken in
for emergency treatment and is not fully alert or conscious,” said Dr
Ben Hanson, senior vice-president for clinical alliances at the Health
Officials added that the data generated will also guide authorities to take better public health decisions.
“A linked patient portal will empower patients who will have access to their medical histories as well,” Dr Hanson added.
“[Within the next decade], I believe the UAE
can set up a nationwide platform that will give patients the medical
care they need on time,” said Dr Rakesh Suri, chief executive officer at
the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
At present, Dubai is already working to
widen its Salama medical record system. No other country boasts such a
widespread system till date, although Estonia has a birth-to-death
health record system.