New Delhi: India’s National Health Authority (NHA), in collaboration with the National Cancer Grid (NCG), is set to launch a pilot under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), to streamline medical record sharing across hospitals for cancer care patients who often visit multiple facilities.

By creating a centralized repository accessible to doctors within the ABDM network, the initiative aims to ensure seamless continuity of care.

This assumes importance considering that India has a high cancer burden, with 1.46 million patients in 2022.

ABDM-enabled electronic medical records system

Key government and trust hospitals treating cancer, including PGIMER (Chandigarh), Tata Memorial Hospital (Mumbai), All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS, Delhi and Jodhpur), and National Cancer Institute (Jajjhar), will pilot the adoption of the ABDM-enabled electronic medical records system, or the Health Management Information System,

The objective of the pilot is to create a digital health records repository to seamlessly scan and share the records across departments and tertiary care providers, such as radiology, ENT and respiratory departments, across participating hospitals.

Medical records will only be shared with patient consent using their digital health ID (ABHA ID).

“We are very hopeful about this project. Cancer is one of those diseases where a patient must approach healthcare facilities repeatedly. So, the importance of longitudinal health history and keeping health records systematically is proposed to be shown by the pilot,” a person in the know said, requesting anonymity.

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In May, stakeholders convened to strategize the launch of pilot, highlighting ABDM’s potential to digitally integrate healthcare services, and reduce repeat tests and patient expenses.

“ABDM has the potential to bridge the existing silos among different stakeholders of the healthcare ecosystem through digital means. This is especially beneficial for patients with chronic diseases, such as cancer, where patients have to visit from one hospital to multiple points of care over a long time,” the person cited above said. 

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“There is often the problem of unavailability of standardized electronic health data, when a patient moves between care facilities, leading to repeat tests and high patient out of pocket expenses,” he added.

The roll out of the initiative will help patients, hospitals, clinicians, and other stakeholders, to get to understand the benefits of ABDM, and the outcomes may help determine how the system could be extended to benefit patients undergoing treatment for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and renal complications.

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The NHA aims to establish a digital health ecosystem in India and support healthcare facilities, including clinics, diagnostic centers, hospitals, laboratories, and pharmacies, in adopting the ABDM ecosystem to enhance health services for all Indian citizens.

Queries sent to a health ministry spokesperson remained unanswered till press time.




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Published: 16 Jun 2024, 05:32 PM IST

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