With the advent of information and communication technologies, health data and information can now be shared by one healthcare provider with another through electronic transmission. Further, the use of internationally recognized standards, and transmission and validation protocols that ensure client privacy and data protection have made the exchange feasible in a secure manner.

At present, a client receives healthcare services in various health facilities such as rural health units (RHUs), government and/or private hospitals, and private clinics. The data remains in the health facilities where services were rendered. Healthcare providers usually get the clients anecdotal information to obtain pertinent information from previous health encounters following the traditional practice of using paper forms, rather than having to access the clients health encounter record from previous health facilities. Often times, this scenario leads to redundancy and additional setback for the client such as repeating diagnostic procedures that may have been already facilitated in the previous health encounters, duplication of treatments, inappropriate medication prescription due to lack of information on allergy triggers, and/or incorrect diagnosis due to insubstantial health history, among others. These problems can be prevented or eliminated if healthcare providers have access to quality and complete information anytime and anywhere.

Guided by the PeHSP for UHC, one of the identified critical eHealth projects to address the above situational health condition is the development and implementation of the Philippine Health Information Exchange (PHIE). The PHIE is a platform for secure electronic access and efficient exchange of health data and/or information among health facilities, health care providers, health information organizations, and government agencies in accordance with set national standards in the interest of public health. The PHIE is envisioned to become an integral component of the health care delivery system as part of health services available to all patients. It shall integrate and harmonize health data coming from different electronic medical record systems and hospital information systems. It shall provide an infrastructure for data/information sharing between health care providers, and support access to patients records across providers in all geographic areas of the country; thereby, improving efficiency and reliability of communication among participating health care providers. In general, its implementation shall promote public health, improve total patient care and better decision making, while safeguarding the right to privacy of every individual.

Figure 1. Philippine Health Information Exchange

The PHIE responds to the call of the national government to create a citizen-centric government, where on 17 March 2015, the Secretary of Health, Secretary of Science and Technology (DOST), President and Chief Executive Officer of PhilHealth, and Executive Director of the DOST-ICT Office (now Department of Information and Communications Technology) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement on its management and implementation, including other related eHealth projects. From the health sector standpoint, the implementation of PHIE supports the attainment of UHC to foster good governance, strengthen accountability, increase transparency, and advance operational efficiency of various stakeholders in the health sector and to deliver quality services and make information available to various service providers and the people.








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