Bill on e-medical records of patients filed in Congress

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A mother-and-son tandem has proposed in Congress a bill that would compel the digitization of medical records of all patients of hospitals and clinics to provide easy access to medical records.

Rep. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur) and his mother, Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga) filed House Bill 2805 to save time, money, and effort.

Photo credit: ITU
Photo credit: ITU

“Obtaining vital patient medical information especially in emergency cases can help avoid unnecessary loss of lives,” Arroyo said.

The bill also seeks the establishment of the Electronic Medical Record Center to be placed under the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Health (DoH).

Electronic medical records, as defined under the bill, refer to the medical background and history of medical service provider’s patients and such other information to be designed and developed by the record center

Medical service providers, on the other hand, refer to all medical practitioners, hospitals, clinics, centers and other similar institutions that provide medical care service and assistance as defined under the measure.

Arroyo said the record center should serve as a hub of all databanks of medical records and other pertinent information significant to the patient’s medical history.

Under the proposal, the record center shall generate specialized software to be distributed and used as the standard platform for the maintenance, updating, uploading and making available electronic medical records.

In order to assure the privacy of all medical records, electronic communications and transactions electronic medical records system shall use the existing 128-bit encryption or higher form of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology, which may be devised in the future.

The bill authorizes the appropriation of P10 million for the initial operations of the Electronic Medical Records Center as an attached agency of the DoH and thereafter, such amount needed to implement this Act shall be included in the Annual Appropriations Act of the Department.

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