The Government of India has implemented various programs that tackle issues related to health care. But the ambitions of these programs have been marred by challenges in execution, and a significant one has been the lack of clear identification and targeting of individual beneficiaries. Also today there is no single accurate mechanism to track spread of diseases, timely identification of outbreak of epidemics and monitoring of the medical services being offered. Currently, most of the information on healthcare services is obtained by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare through surveys. Information on patient healthcare records is maintained in silos across hospitals, insurers, and individuals. Use of Aadhaar in healthcare services can catalyze the formation of a national database.
This can be achieved by linking the Aadhaar number to existing and new information related to patient health records, diseases and medical treatments. It will also require creation of a Master Information System through the integration of Legacy Patient Management Systems used across hospitals and nursing homes. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and industry associations may be required to play a sponsor role for initiating this program of digitizing and linking patient healthcare records.
The key benefits are:
- Better medical care for patients because of availability of medical history across stakeholders.
- With an authentication done for each entry in the database, it would provide an effective means to track diseases, provide early indication of spread of epidemics and allow effective planning to meet the medical emergencies indifferent parts of the nation.
- Based on the address of the patient in the database, it would be possible to generate a pin-code linked map of diseases.
- It would provide an effective means to assess the medical services in the different parts of the country and help in the planning and development of medical services, various schemes etc
- Such services can also be offered as a means of authentication purposes to insurance providers to curb misuse and fraud.
- It will also help the government to design better welfare and health care related programs and will enable the urban and rural population to avail the benefits arising from these programs more efficiently.