Will electronic health record system bring more leaks?

When the National Electronic Health Record system is implemented, the prediction is that there will be many more breaches of patient information.
When the National Electronic Health Record system is implemented, the prediction is that there will be many more breaches of patient information.ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG

The massive medical data leaks - the SingHealth cyber attack last year and last week's illegal release of 14,200 people's information on the HIV Registry - were reprehensible acts perpetuated by hackers and miscreants.

They should be traced, extradited and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

When the National Electronic Health Record system is implemented, the prediction is that there will be many more breaches of patient information, many of which will be unintended and unpremeditated due to older doctors who may not be tech-savvy.

Will these doctors be looked upon sympathetically and treated with lenience, or will the Singapore Medical Council be unmerciful?

Senior Health Correspondent Salma Khalik said that the solution is for the Ministry of Health to build systems that make it difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to access such information (MOH must learn from breaches to build more robust, secure system; Feb 1).

If such a system existed, I would expect it to be clunky and not user-friendly, with layer upon layer of stringent checks.

Furthermore, if such a system were a possibility to begin with, surely we would not be facing the problems we are dealing with today.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2019, with the headline 'Will electronic health record system bring more leaks?'. Print Edition | Subscribe