Patients will now have to carry their identity number for registration when visiting health centres in the country.
As the health ministry is in the process of implementing electronic patient information system (ePIS), an integrated hospital information system across Bhutan in the 12th Plan, all health facilities within the country are advised to start collecting patients’ identity number during the patient registration.
This, according to an executive order from the health ministry to medical superintendents of the referral hospitals dated September 26, 2019, is to prepare every stakeholder for the project roll out.
For the Bhutanese citizen, citizenship identity card (CID), voter card, driving licence or passport, permit number for Bhutanese residents and work permit or passport for foreigners should be prescribed.
It states that every patient visiting hospitals should be requested to bring ID and produce it while registering for service. The health facilities should note the ID numbers on the prescription paper and any other registers be it hard copy or in computers that the health facilities maintain.
However, it states that no patient should be denied service for not bringing or producing IDs. “Even copy of the ID should suffice for time being. The order is to initiate the collection of IDs and remind patients to bring ID during their next visit in case they fail,” it states.
In line with this, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) on October 16 notified on its Facebook page that all patients should produce or be able to tell their CID number to record in their prescription form during registration at the reception counters.
This project is a component under Digital Drukyul Flagship programme as per the order from Cabinet.
The health ministry has gathered a fund of USD 4 million for the ePIS project.
The ePIS is expected to benefit the health system through improvement of the patient information system besides providing accurate data on individual patient’s illness and investigations.
With the ePIS in place, heath officials said that the health information of a patient even at remote health facility could be traced from the referral hospital on the system using the patient’s code or identity number.