Technology has an impact on all our lives: from how we consume food, shop, and interact with one another. For the healthcare sector, technology is helping people beyond convenience, it is helping save lives.
One way it does so is by utilising the abundance of data in the form of patient health information to empower providers and patients to make better-informed healthcare decisions. This ultimately has an impact on improving patient experience, outcomes and efficiencies. Understanding this, Malaffi, the region’s first Health Information Exchange (HIE) platform, was launched in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2019; established as part of the strategic priorities of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi.
Malaffi allows providers from across Abu Dhabi to electronically, safely and securely exchange and access crucial patient information accessible in real-time. Reducing information-sourcing admin, this allows medical providers to focus more of their time on treating and healing their patients; resulting in the delivery of better-quality healthcare and improved patient outcomes. Ultimately, Malaffi places patients at the heart of care.
Enhancing the patient experience
During their healthcare journey, patients often undertake unnecessary tests, multiple doctor visits and repeat procedures for the same health issue. This is often due to the non-availability of past patient health information, such as test results or diagnoses – all of which are not shared between healthcare providers and remain inaccessible to the attending doctor and care team.
Through Malaffi, patients can rest assured that their provider has all their necessary health information, which will ultimately reduce any inconvenience for patients and their loved ones. Crucially and importantly this significantly improves their patient experience.
Malaffi will reduce the unnecessary duplication of services and the amount of time doctors and care teams spend on administrative tasks to source important patient information from other healthcare providers. It will improve patient safety by reducing medication errors; enhance patient journeys. By ensuring providers have access to key patient health information, they will be able to best coordinate care. This is especially important for those with chronic or malignant diseases who need to see multiple doctors on a regular basis.
Providing better patient outcomes
Through Malaffi, each patient in Abu Dhabi will have a unified medical file. This file will bring together patient data, including medication, allergies, laboratory and radiology results, procedures and more. Every time a patient seeks medical support – from consultation to emergency treatment – their Malaffi file will be updated in real-time to facilitate faster and better-informed decisions and more reliable diagnoses. With 80% of serious medical errors involving miscommunication between healthcare providers during the transfer of patients from one provider to the next, healthcare providers will now have instant access to all the health information they need which can reduce misdiagnosis.
Benefits of Malaffi
Dr. Gareth Goodier, Group Chief Executive Officer, SEHA, said: “This initiative will bring enormous benefits for our patients. As Malaffi evolves to onboard more providers and include more clinical information, we anticipate increased efficiencies within the healthcare sector over the coming years.”
David Hadley, CEO of Mediclinic Middle East, said: “Mediclinic Middle East is happy to join Malaffi, as a strategic priority of the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi. Following its implementation, Abu Dhabi will benefit from a more efficient healthcare system through the resulting reduction in medication errors and duplicate tests, as well as the introduction of emirate-wide health initiatives made possible by the centralisation of information.”
Heightened data protection
Patient privacy and the security of digital health information are top priorities for the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi and Malaffi. By connecting the electronic medical records (EMR) systems of all providers in Abu Dhabi, Malaffi and providers adhere to the strict government rules and regulations around data protection and patient rights, and must comply with Emirate and federal health privacy laws that protect patient health information. These include different measures, such as ensuring that only authorised users can access patient data, and that data is encrypted and exchanged over a secure network. This ensures that a standard for the security and protection of personal health information and privacy is upheld.
Placing patients at the centre of care
To help patients better manage their health, in 2020 Malaffi will be launching a patient mobile application. As soon as they download the app, patients will have their own medical information at their fingertips. With 55% of all medical malpractice cases due to miscommunication that happens between a provider and a patient, this patient app will facilitate better communication and allow patients to be more fully engaged in their care. Patients can check their Malaffi file anytime and anywhere through the app, which also supports prevention and early detection of illnesses; in addition to providing peace of mind for them and their families. This reassures them that they are receiving the best possible care, anywhere – and at any time – in Abu Dhabi.
Not only does Malaffi deliver a variety of benefits for everyone, but also assists in improving healthcare for the whole population. It does so by providing invaluable information to the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi to help monitor the quality of care, launch health awareness and prevention programmes; and identify public health risks.
References available on request.