Patients to get access to e-records

The National Skin Centre (NSC) launched its own Patient Health Portal (above) earlier this week.

SINGAPORE - A national health record database rolled out last April to provide one-stop medical-record access to health-care institutions could soon be accessed by patients themselves.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) told my paper that plans are in the pipeline to provide patients with some access to health information on the National Electronic Health Record (NEHR).

MOH said this will allow patients to "better understand and manage their health".

The setting up of the NEHR is meant to consolidate a patient's medical information, such as those for treatments, medication and allergies, into a single record that health-care professionals from different hospitals or clinics can access.

Patients can therefore be moved seamlessly through the health-care system, from polyclinics to hospitals, and save time and money by avoiding duplicate tests.

The first phase of NEHR was rolled out last April, and it is expected to be fully operational by 2015.

On patient access to NEHR, an MOH spokesman said: "In view of the rapidly ageing population and an increase in chronic diseases, this will be an important step forward in allowing patients to be better informed about their health.

"Patients will be able to interact and work hand-in-hand with clinicians to better manage (their treatment) and keep themselves in optimum health."

Patient access to the NEHR is still in the planning stage.

The National Skin Centre (NSC) launched its own Patient Health Portal earlier this week.

The service gives patients access to their medical records, such as medication history and appointment dates.

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