30 May 2012

A revolution in electronic health records in SA

Discovery has announced the launch of HealthID, the first electronic health record application of its kind in SA, which puts patient’s health records in their doctor’s hands.


Discovery has announced the launch of HealthID, the first electronic health record application of its kind in South Africa, which puts patient’s health records in their doctor’s hands. According to Adrian Gore, Discovery, CEO, “Our vision is that HealthID will do for the healthcare sector what the ATM did for banking”.

The electronic health record is at the heart of the application, where valuable clinical information derived from claims data and from pathology laboratories is stored. Doctors are able to access their patients’ data and details of their previous doctor and hospital visits. Doctors can view previously prescribed medicines, blood test results and patients’ health measures such as body mass index and blood pressure.

“We regard this as a first step in a very exciting and innovative journey that will bring full patient information into the consultation process and which will make a significant impact on the quality of care provided by doctors” says Dr Jonathan Broomberg, Discovery Health CEO.

Gap between patients and doctors closed

HealthID will reduce the administration burden on doctors as they have the patient’s information at their fingertips, which will enable them to apply online for chronic medicines and get real-time approval, as well as to script medicines with full information on which medicines are covered.

Very often a patient cannot remember the last time they suffered from a particular disease or in the case of elderly patients, all the medication that are currently on.  HealthID will close this critical gap for patients and for doctors.

An important aspect of HealthID is the protection of patient’s right to privacy. Only once a patient has given their consent in writing, can the doctor use HealthID; and patient consent has to be given to each doctor individually, so that patients can choose which doctors can and cannot access their health record.

Place QR stickers on cars

Dr Michael Setzer, a GP that was part of the pilot process said, “It is a powerful tool, for the patient, the doctor and the medical scheme. Medical practice today should be about doctor patient relationship and the more the doctor can access technology to limit the time spent on administrative tasks, the more he can have a relationship with his patients, which is what it’s all about. This application will allow you to do that”.

Emergency HealthID ™ will be made available to Discovery Health members in the near future. This is a unique QR code based identifier for each individual covered by Discovery Health. Members can place QR code stickers on their cars, phones or children’s lunch boxes.

 In the event of an emergency, authorised paramedics will be able to scan the QR code, and gain potentially lifesaving information on the identity of the patient, next of kin, allergies and other critical health information.

(Press release, May 2012)



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