*** ----> A one-stop solution for Unified health records | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

A one-stop solution for Unified health records

U-Turn with U K by P.UnniKrishnan

As expected, the waiting room experience was all too familiar — 30 minutes of idle anticipation. Finally, my turn came, and the doctor launched into the routine barrage of questions.

“Do you have any allergies to food or medications?” I racked my brain but came up empty. “Do you have any family history of allergies?”

Again, I drew a blank. “What medications have you taken previously?” Not a single pill name surfaced in my memory. And so, the doctor prescribed more tests—an allergy and a blood test.

I mentioned that I had recently undergone tests at another clinic in Bahrain, but when he requested the results, I couldn’t find them in my email. So, it was another round of tests, costing me an additional BD 50.

As he prescribed antibiotics for my allergy, the questions persisted: “Do you have any allergies to antibiotics?” Once more, I shook my head. Can you recall the name of the antibiotic you took last time?” My answer remained the same—a frustrating “No.” This scenario is all too common.

In today’s complex healthcare landscape, patients like me navigate a labyrinth of appointments and treatments, hampered by maintaining accurate and accessible health records.

Yet, in the era of advancing medical science, the significance of a comprehensive patient history cannot be overstated.

It’s the guiding light for physicians, leading them to the heart of our ailments and shaping personalised treatments.

But the reality falls short. Our health records are scattered fragments, leading to redundant tests and crucial information slipping through the cracks.

Vital data, from allergies to past medications, often eludes us when we need it most, jeopardising efficient healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

But hope gleams on the horizon. Innovative solutions beckon us forward. Imagine enhancing existing healthcare applications, like Bahrain’s Beware app, to aggregate patient data seamlessly from diverse sources.

Such innovation promises a future of streamlined care, where test results and vaccination records from different facilities converge at our fingertips.

The success of “Malaffi” in Abu Dhabi, a groundbreaking Health Information Exchange platform, illuminates this path further.

Uniting public and private healthcare providers fosters collaboration and empowers comprehensive patient care.

Yet, the impact transcends individual treatment.

A centralised repository of health information equips governments to tackle the rising tide of lifestyle diseases, from asthma to cancer.

This data reservoir becomes a cornerstone for research and development, driving advances in public health.

Crucially, these advancements safeguard patient privacy and empower individuals to take charge of their health journey.

With robust security measures, patients can securely store and access their medical records, transcending geographical boundaries.

Bahrain should have a unified, accessible, and secure health record system that emerges as a beacon of progress.

It’s a future where patients and providers navigate the complexities of modern medicine with clarity and confidence.


The writer is the Chairman & Managing Director of The Daily Tribune