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From March, Vietnam Requires Hospitals to Digitize Medical Records

Health authorities hope that the change will help cut back waiting times, confusion caused by doctors' handwriting and improve the archiving and managing of records.

Starting from March 1, hospitals in Vietnam are required to start replacing printed medical records with electronic ones, Tuoi Tre reports. When this transition is completed, each patient will be assigned an ID that will allow doctors to access their medical records easily.

According to Tran Quy Tuong, head of the information technology department under the Ministry of Health, top-grade hospitals are required to finish their digitization process by 2025 while the rest are expected to finish before 2030.

Some hospitals have already begun the pilot phase of the digitization process. Thu Duc Hospital, which started digitizing its medical records in 2008, has observed advantages that electronic records can bring.

"Now, whenever I go to the hospital for an appointment, I only need to bring my medical insurance card and my ID," said 32-year-old Nguyen Thi Kim Dung.

However, since some hospitals have already developed their own systems of storing records and data and the health ministry didn't specify a unified system for all facilities, information might be hard to sync across the country. Digitization will also be a challenge for clinics located in areas that don't have internet and electricity. 

[Photo via World Health Initiative]

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