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Health Information Exchange

The Abu Dhabi Health Information Exchange (HIE) is set to revolutionize the delivery of healthcare in the emirate, cutting waiting times, reducing mistakes and improving patient outcomes – all through connecting practitioners with their patients’ data more effectively.

The HIE is a Public Private Partnership between the Abu Dhabi Department of Health and Injazat, and will connect to more than 2,000 healthcare providers in the emirate, serving more than three million people. The Abu Dhabi HIE programme will be the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa.

Currently, while most patient records are digitized, they are rarely easily accessible outside the institution that created them, such as a doctor’s surgery or hospital. This can make it difficult for healthcare practitioners to get a complete record of a patient’s medical history, increasing the risk of a misdiagnosis or missing critical information, such as a drug allergy.

The HIE will pull together all this patient information from different sources into a “single patient record”. This record will give doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals a real-time view of a patient’s history, empowering them to make better, faster decisions about treatment – and so improving outcomes for their patients.

Some of the key benefits of the HIE:

  1. Greatly improved communication among healthcare providers across the emirate.
  2. Greater patient safety from reduction in medication errors and allergies.
  3. Improved speed and accuracy of diagnosis.
  4. Significant cost savings from reduced duplication of laboratory and medical imaging tests.
  5. Better hospital discharge outcomes and reduced rate of readmissions.
  6. Huge potential for world-class public and population health initiatives. 

Initially the Exchange will be introduced in the 17 hospitals and clinics that are part of Mubadala Healthcare and SEHA – and then rolled out over time to all private sector hospitals, clinics and pharmacies across the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The HIE’s functionality will also be upgraded over time, with services added according to market needs and technical feasibility. Initially the Exchange will launch with four core areas of functionality, in line with other healthcare information exchanges around the world:

  • Diagnostic Data Exchange
  • Provider Portal
  • Patient Portal
  • Public Health Services 

Technical aspects

Behind the scenes, the Abu Dhabi Healthcare Information Exchange platform is an extremely complex IT project, placing significant demands on its software and infrastructure.

The requirement for the software was an engine capable of advanced interoperability, highly accurate and customizable data exchange, and compatible with the HL7 messaging capability used by numerous Health Information Systems (HIS).

After a rigorous selection process by the HIE team, the final choice to power the exchange was the Rhapsody engine, developed by Orion Health. Rhapsody is in use at exchanges in Scotland, England, the US, Canada, France, Australia and New Zealand. Critically for use in Abu Dhabi, Rhapsody can be integrated with the major HIS providers used in the emirate’s healthcare sector, including Cerner, Epic and Intersystems.

For the hardware, Injazat will operate and maintain the HIE in its Tier IV Certified Data Center based in Mohammed Bin Zayed City – one of the highest levels of data center certification, used to host mission-critical services, and built with the highest levels of resiliency and redundancy.

Injazat will also lead the development, implementation and integration of the Exchange, in conjunction with Orion Health and the Abu Dhabi Department of Health.

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