April 9, 2017
TOKYO- The health ministry plans to create a network for all medical institutions in Japan to share medical records of each patient, Jiji Press learned Saturday.
The ministry will aim to fully launch the network in fiscal 2020, utilizing an existing dedicated identification system for information sharing linked to the My Number social security and taxation common ID numbers.
The ministry plans to seek relevant expenses in its budget request for fiscal 2018, which starts in April next year.
Currently, it is difficult for medical institutions to share treatment, medication and other medical records of each patient. When patients visit large hospitals, they sometimes need to take the same medical examinations as the ones they underwent at their family doctors' offices.
The ministry believes the envisaged network will resolve such redundancy and allow cuts in medical expenses.
Under the network, whose detailed design will be set later, medical institutions will manage medical records of patients along with their dedicated IDs.
Medical institutions will be able to gain access to records of each patient through the network using My Number or health insurance cards embedded with digital certificates that patients present when they visit the institutions.
Sharing of patient information among medical institutions has already started in Japan, led mainly by large hospitals. As of fiscal 2016, there were some 250 such networks in the country.
In Okayama Prefecture, western Japan, and the southwestern prefecture of Nagasaki, such networks cover the entire prefectures, allowing local medical institutions and nursing care operators to share patient medical records. (Jiji Press)
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