Innovation is key to improving healthcare outcomes more quickly and effectively. This is where Malaffi (Arabic for ‘my file’), the region’s first Health Information Exchange (HIE) platform, will facilitate the making of better-informed and more efficient clinical decisions, as well as enhance coordination and transition of care. The platform allows healthcare providers to better coordinate patient care, reduce the duplication of procedures, and prevent medical and medication errors. Ultimately, with the help of the platform, healthcare providers will have more information about their patients enabling them to deliver higher healthcare quality. This reliable sharing of patient health information will support the management of chronic diseases and the provision of emergency care.
Having an Emirate-wide HIE system allows for the exchange of significant amounts of data. Soon, this will provide a great opportunity for advanced technologies to process and analyse monumental amounts of data in record time with unmatched efficiency. As an electronic platform, Malaffi will help pave the way for the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to further improve care coordination, system planning and public health management.
Atif Al Braiki, Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi Health Data Services told Omnia Health Magazine: “Malaffi was established as part of the strategic priorities of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DOH) as a key component of the digital transformation of the healthcare system in the Emirate.
“The surge of chronic diseases and the growing and ageing population put increasing strain on the healthcare system in Abu Dhabi and worldwide. To optimise the delivery of healthcare, safely and securely sourcing medical information is vital. As a result, there is a healthcare imperative to create a central database of patient health data that can be accessed by healthcare providers. Medical information shared electronically and securely can improve the speed, quality and safety of patient care.”
The platform is operated by the Abu Dhabi Health Data Services – Sole Proprietorship LLC (ADHDS), established as Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DOH) and Injazat Data Systems, a subsidiary ultimately of Mubadala Investment Company. The first six providers joined Malaffi by signing the Participant Agreement in December 2019, and the official Malaffi operations started in January 2019. The platform is set to connect almost 2,000 public and private healthcare facilities in Abu Dhabi. To date, around 400 facilities have been onboarded.
How does it work?
Malaffi is fully integrated with the Electronic Medical Records of the providers that have onboarded the platform and is accessible over a safe and secure connection. This means that users do not have to log into a separate platform and that they have real-time instant access to the most important information of the patient’s medical history. These include demographic data, encounters, diagnosis, problems, allergies, laboratory and radiology results, past procedures, clinical notes, among other information. “The initial feedback has been very positive; although the platform contains robust information, it is built in a way that makes it very easy to use and the information can be located quite effortlessly,” Al Braiki added.
From a provider perspective, Malaffi has been well-received by the industry in Abu Dhabi. By the end of December 2019, more than 1,700 facilities joined Malaffi by signing the Participation Agreement, out of which around 400 have already onboarded the platform, and close to 15,500 users from those facilities have access to the platform, which contains more than 38 million patient records for more than three million patients. Some of the providers that have already onboarded Malaffi include Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), United Eastern Medical Services (UEMedical) group, Mediclinic Al Noor Hospital and Kanad Hospital (formerly known as Oasis Hospital) and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Al Braiki highlighted: “According to a recent public survey, we know that more than 90 per cent of surveyed Abu Dhabi residents are proud that their Emirate is the first to have an advanced Health Information Exchange platform like Malaffi. 82 per cent are also aware of the benefits of Malaffi and believe it will improve the overall patient experience.”
Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, CEO and Managing Director of United Eastern Medical Services (UEMedical), was quoted saying: “We are already starting to see the benefits of Malaffi amongst our clinicians and patients. The real-time exchange of information through Malaffi enables all our facilities, including Danat Al Emarat Hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi and HealthPlus Network of Specialty Centers, to exchange information, which is very important for the continuum of care we provide at UEMedical Group. This improves our business process and allows our teams to focus on treating and healing our patients.”
One of the key benefits of the platform is that Malaffi will provide the DOH with invaluable population health information, which will help identify public health risks, launch health awareness campaigns and prevention programmes specific to the needs of the population for a healthier Abu Dhabi.
“Malaffi supports the DOH by providing robust population health data,” said Al Braiki. “The information around the broader trends in the population’s health enables the surveillance and management of chronic diseases, which can and will help drive and support public health policies and programmes in Abu Dhabi. This helps promote better health across the Emirate’s population.
“A healthy community is a happy community that can make greater contributions to create a prosperous society. This data is also invaluable for the swift identification of public health risks and for the Emirate’s emergency preparedness, in the event of an outbreak for example.”
He concluded: “By providing access to a centralised database, Malaffi allows the safe and secure exchange of patient health information in real-time. This plays a major role in improving quality healthcare and patient outcomes and elevates healthcare in Abu Dhabi.
“As a result, this will help further reinforce Abu Dhabi’s place on the international medical tourism map and attract regional and international patients to the Emirate. Furthermore, the platform will serve as a catalyst for the digital transformation of the Abu Dhabi healthcare industry, by establishing a solid repository of data for future AI predictive analytics and public health.”
Malaffi app to debut at Arab Health 2020
This year, Malaffi will be launching a patient mobile application. On downloading the app, patients will have access to their medical information at their fingertips. Malaffi will be providing a sneak peek of the app at this year’s edition of Arab Health, at the stand of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi. The app will bring a myriad of benefits for the patient, including enhancing the patient experience by making all health information accessible in a mobile way. Through the app, patients can check their Malaffi file anytime, anywhere, even if they are traveling. Thanks to its patient-friendly interface, the app will engage patients in the management of their health and support prevention efforts, for a healthier Abu Dhabi.
Atif Al Braiki