The Second Strategic Principle of Health Care strategy, approved by the Cabinet's Resolution (no. 320 dated 17/9/1430H ) , specified the strategy of Informatics and IT systems in Health sectors containing the following:
Availing latest systems and data bases in Health, Administrative and financial areas, supported by Advanced technologies. Being provided in accordance with priorities of each Health Agency, such systems have to get the proper financial budgets relatively allocated, with a focus on being continuously developed. In the same respect, the flow of such systems should be well regulated on all levels to ensure increasing efficiency of services provided, to support processes of planning, supervision, reformation and control and to achieve, as a result, targeted quality and coordination among all sectors.
Policies and procedures :
- Attributing a higher priority to training and qualifying specialized cadres in Health informatics field, so as to keep up with world development of IT exploitation. Including internal and external scholarship programs for higher studies as a main pivot, such training and qualification should achieve the following aims :
Pointing out the importance of having a main Information Center for each Health Sector in the kingdom. Each of those centers is envisioned to unify all administrative and medical information systems. As a result, such a center will be the main provider of IT applications and software "ASP", helping to avoid overlapping purchase of many systems sold by different corporations to the same hospitals subordinate to one Health Sector.
Establishing a National Health Informatics Center composed of directors of the main informatics centers at different Health Sectors and Central Department Of Statistics & Information in addition to representatives from the Private Sector. Being empowered by Health Services Council, such a National Center is aimed at achieving coordination among different Health Organizations to have an information unification and flow of data helping to set up health information bases in the kingdom. This national center will focus on the following:
- Following up development of Health IT systems in Saudi Arabia.
- Acquaintance with Health informatics latest tendencies and orientations to be implemented according to world standards.
- Providing trainees with basic skills required to identify and solve problems and obstacles that hinder implementation and development of IT systems in Health Sectors.
Ministry of Health will work in partnership with different Health Sectors to establish national records addressing widespread and chronic diseases in addition to tumors and epidemic diseases. Accidents and handicapped record will also be established where all such records will be linked via internet so that they can be easily filled in and continuously updated by hospitals ensuring accurate statistics and easy-to-make evaluations of Health status, While each of those national records can have independent location patronized by a certain specialized agency, they should help reinforce and support research studies.
Establishing a national Health research center which will urge and patronize applied health research with participation of all health agencies. Such a research center should particularly fulfill the following:
- Specifying standards of Medical e-Records for all Health Sectors in the Kingdom and pursuing development of International Classification of Diseases "ICD". This includes, in addition, specifying standards for the unification of the Medical e-Records among different Health Sectors to have the optimal harmony in Health Informatics systems in the Kingdom with a relevant guiding reference.
- Determining the necessary specifications of medical information which can be stored within the National Card of Health information in compliance with the Cabinet's resolutions in this regard.
- Seeking to set up a medical communications network where medical information can reach remote areas for distance-diagnosis. This will help utilize consultant's expertise in rare specializations so that patients in small towns and villages can benefit from advanced health services offered in main cities.
- Determining standards and specifications for invoicing and settlement of requests and approvals.
- Establishing a national health accounting unit to depend on cost accounting system.
- Specifying standards and specifications of e-Government to be implemented in Health organizations in coordination with the MCIT's National e-Government Program's team. This includes development of ways of purchasing in Health Sectors to be transformed into electronic ones.
- Knowledge sharing and expertise interchange in the field of Health IT in addition to mutual exploitation of other agencies' potentials. This also includes coordination with world centers and associations in such health IT fields.
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- Qualifying researchers in the fields of General Health, Consensus Health and epidemic studies.
- Contributing in health field researches and surveys.
- Outlining Health problems and Profile for all regions in the Kingdom as per the results of researches and national records data.
- Contributing in researches that are aimed at improving health services with regard to administrative and organizational aspects.