Screening via electronic health records to revolutionise prevention of chronic disease in GCC

screeningDubai, UAE:The use of electronic health record (EHR) data for the management and treatment of chronic diseases could revolutionize the prevention of chronic disease. According to the WHO 19% of deaths in the UAE between the ages of 30-70 years are caused by the top four non communicable diseases which are diabetes, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular diseases.[1] Many of the chronic diseases that are a concern to the GCC region can be prevented by appropriate control of lifestyle factors, such as weight management and tobacco consumption. By utilising an EHR, it is possible to remind healthcare providers at every opportunity to provide that targeted lifestyle advice.

According to Dr ColinFincham, Director and CMO, Cerner Middle East, Dubai, UAE, “We are at a turning point in medicine where the patient via EHR big data, wearables, social media and other mechanisms, wants to, and in many cases expects to, share their data with their clinician – subject to appropriate security – as easily as they can share their social activities with their friends and family. This can only be good for the care of the patient, but will require a fundamental shift in how healthcare professionals in this region interact with patients and data.”

Dr Fincham will be speaking at the Health Information Conference at Building Healthcare Exhibition & Conferences taking place from 8-10 June 2015 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE.

The ability of organisations to aggregate large amounts of data across disparate EHR systems and even within single EHRs, such as those at the UAE Ministry of Health, as well as hospitals and clinics in the region, means that it is possible to accurately identify all patients with appropriate chronic diseases. This allows organisations to resource and fund care where needed based upon known information.

“EHR can be used to track particular trends in conditions based upon geography and other demographic factors such as the incidence of asthma near industrial areas compared with coastal rural areas. This ability to manage and track data reduces the uncertainty and allows for more directed care. Once the data is available in the EHR, it is possible for individual doctors to identify in their patients who should be eligible for screening for known conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. This directed screening allows the early identification of chronic diseases and preventing complications,” says Dr Fincham.


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