Modern information and communication technologies occupy a central position in the world in health security, medical services and the transformation of healthcare systems. Information systems of electronic health allow monitoring of patients at a significant distance, distribution of information among patients and improved accessibility to healthcare for disabled and elderly people, especially in remote areas.
During the last 10 years, Kazakhstan has been introducing and developing e-government, the main goal of which is to create a country in which the interaction between the people and the state is simple, clear and approachable.
The health of the nation is one of the fundamental priorities of state policy. The national 100 Concrete Steps plan provides the implementation of compulsory health insurance, the financial priority of primary healthcare, the strengthening of the financial stability of the health security system based on the principle of the responsibility of the state, employers and citizens and focuses on the introduction of high and advanced standards of medical care.
The Concept of Electronic Health Development of Kazakhstan was adopted for the reorientation of the existing healthcare model to the needs of the patient and, above all, to improve the quality and accessibility to medical services.
Electronic health records, electronic medical records and electronic prescriptions help improve the overall quality of medical care, as the paperwork is reduced and will eventually be completely excluded from the duty of a medical worker. Electronic records will keep information about the patient throughout their life: clinical information, patient history, treatment history, immunisation, medication, allergies, intolerances, adverse reactions, symptoms, health status and diagnostic reports.
As part of the attachment to the medical organisation campaign, which is held once a year, the patient may assign themselves to a healthcare establishment of their choice, taking into account the right to choose the doctor and the medical organisation within a single locality (administrative territorial unit). Within the Unified National Healthcare System, the information website “Register of the Attached Population” has been created to solve the issue of public services records, which help the organisations of primary healthcare keep documentation on more than 17 million people in the country attached to the healthcare offices, clinics, hospitals and specialty care centers. In addition, due to the existing cooperation with the e-government website, the patient is able to apply for an attachment to a clinic, summon a doctor and make an appointment, using the services provided by the website www.egov.kz, all without leaving home.
The information system “Hospitalisation Bureau” provides registration and hospitalisation of patients into local, inter-regional and national clinics, granted by the free choice and consent of the patients.
The Health Quality Management System monitors the completeness and the quality of the provided medical care.
The Drug Provision Management System accounts for all purposes of the prescription of free medicine to patients on the dispensary registration.
The key element of the development of electronic health in Kazakhstan is the Electronic Health Record (EHR), which is planned to be implemented before 2020. The EHR is an electronic document, which contains the main personal and medical data of every citizen of Kazakhstan and will become the master tool in the achievement of the objectives of the healthcare system that are aimed toward improving the accessibility and quality of medical care.
Thus, the introduction of electronic health is expected to result in increased public satisfaction with the quality of healthcare by providing better accessibility, the freedom of choice of a doctor and improvements to health system logistics, such as appointments, scheduling and notifications. This approach of providing outpatient healthcare is executed at the present stage of the initiation of the Concept of Electronic Health Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The author is general director of the National Centre for Electronic Healthcare at the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan.