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Dubai is the first city in the Middle-East to complete the EMRAM survey

WAM Dubai, 12th Feb. 2012 (WAM): The Dubai Health Authority and HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) announced today the results of the survey which determines the electronic efficiency of hospitals in the Emirate of Dubai.

The in-depth survey, which was carried out for the first time in the Middle East region, involved surveying 21 private and four public hospitals in Dubai to determine to what extent hospitals use digital technology and whether they have a paperless environment.

The survey is the first step in the DHA's long term aim to ensure all hospitals in the Emirate of Dubai eventually adopt the electronic model which will facilitate the provision of better healthcare services to the community.

Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of Health Policy and Strategy at the DHA said, "The e-Health Section at the Health Policy and Strategy Sector spearheaded the deployment of the survey in association with the HIMSS Analytics Office in Singapore. The DHA intends to deploy the survey annually to guide Dubai Health Authority on how to best assess the health IT landscape in the Emirate of Dubai." The eventual aim for the Emirate of Dubai is to ensure all hospitals follow the electronic model, said Al Jassmi.

The survey was carried out using the EMRAM (Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model) system for the Middle-East region. EMRAM stands for: Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model and is accepted today world-wide as an international benchmark to stage hospital's electronic efforts.

John Hoyt, Executive Vice President, HIMSS Analytics, USA said, "Due to the completion of this survey, hospitals in Dubai are now in a better position to compare themselves to other hospitals in terms of how paperless they are. The survey also helps hospitals get a complete picture of their current spending and highlights the cost-efficiency if they were to adopt a paperless environment.

"There are several advantages of being a paperless hospital. Today, information systems in hospitals have a tremendous capability to help improve quality, safety and efficiency. Adopting a paperless environment leads to a reduction in medication errors, reduction in process time, increases patient and family satisfaction and increases nursing satisfaction." Dr Mohammad Al Redha, Acting Director, Health Data and Information Analysis Department, Health Policy and Strategy Sector, Dubai Health Authority said, "Introducing electronic information systems in hospitals helps doctors respond to investigation results immediately, which effectively means patients are treated sooner and that in itself is a significant benefit." Dr Redha highlighted the results of the survey and said, "We adopted the EMRAM model which uses a 0-7 stage scale to rate hospitals based on the extent to which they have adopted a paperless, digital system. Stage 7 means the hospital is a paperless and digital hospital.

"Our results showed that, 23 hospitals in Dubai (39.1%) are at the beginning of their EMR journey at stage 1. Another 30.4% are at stage 2. Few hospitals are at stages 3 and 4. However, no hospital was awarded stage 5, 6 or 7.

More than a fifth of the hospitals in Dubai (21.7%) are not on an Electronic Medical Records track. " Dr Redha concluded the results of the survey and said, "This means that almost 70% of the hospitals in Dubai are at the early stages of EMRAM (Stages 1 '&' 2) and therefore more efforts are required to encourage public and private healthcare facilities to attain desirable, higher levels of IT adoption to improve patient safety and provide quality care." Dr Redha said that this survey will help the DHA in its long terms plans for developing the necessary standards for implementing and managing the health information systems in the Emirate. "The ultimate aim of DHA's eHealth goal is to improve the quality, efficiency and safety of clinical care by making relevant health information conveniently accessible to patients and authorized care providers within the Emirate of Dubai. We will use the EMR Adoption Model Score(s) to identify the gaps in Dubai's health care system's health information technology development and determine the most appropriate initiatives including budgeting, policies and strategies to assist hospitals develop health IT systems and achieve a paperless environment." WAM/TF

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