Essa Al Maidoor watches a girl playing with an android tablet provided by the Dubai Health Authority in the waiting area of Nad Al Hamar Health Centre in Dubai on Tuesday. — KT photo by Juidin Bernarrd
The move has been implemented in line with the smart government initiative launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The authority announced the initiative to media at the Nad Al Hamar Primary Health Centre on Tuesday. It has chalked out a roadmap towards total IT solutions that will eventually build “smart hospitals and enhance customer experience,” according to Essa Al Maidoor, director-general of DHA. However, he clarified that the tablets will not give patients access to their medical records.
“The electronic medical records system is not yet in place. We will look at implementing that with time, where even all doctors of DHA will be provided with laptops,” added Al Maidoor.
“Currently, the tablets are solely for the patients’ recreational purposes. It is not static and can be constantly updated, it is an excellent tool for health promotion as it provides patients with information on their health and wellbeing and can also be used to generate patient feedback in a quick and efficient manner. Eventually all transactions in the DHA will be made paperless,” said Al Maidoor.
In terms of hospitals, 795 beds in Rashid Hospital, 660 beds in Dubai hospital, 448 beds in Latifa Hospital, and 79 beds in Hatta Hospital will be fitted with tablets.
“The patients will have access to all Dubai government services. They can access information of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), Dubai Chamber, Dubai Airports, Dubai Economic Department, and RTA, among other services,” he said. Apart from which the tablets will also provide access to social networking applications like Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Skype, and Facebook as well.
Eventually, DHA also plans to centralise patient data, which will be made available in both public and private hospitals. He added that these plans are in the pipeline and will be enforced within the next year or two. “We are looking at a time-frame of two to three years to implement total IT solutions, but once implemented, these three initiatives that will help the authority manage not only the present but also future needs of the health sector,” he said.
Dr Faisal Ali Mousa, chairman of FAM Holding in Dubai, the company that will be supplying the tablets to the health centres, said: “Patients will be able to browse information that is useful for them. This includes all DHA services, pharmacy services and other health services such as physiotherapy and rehabilitation services. They will also be able to browse the internet which will be provided through the Wi-Fi network. The project will take a month to complete and will significantly enhance patient experience.”
Al Maidoor added: “Customer care is at the heart of the Dubai Health Strategy 2013-2025 and these initiatives are aimed to improve the user experience of patients.” DHA plans to add more tablets throughout its network of healthcare services in the later stages of this project.
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