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India needs laws to regulate electronic health records: Experts

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NEW DELHI: India needs to take urgent steps to formulate a detailed legal framework for maintaining and handling electronic medical records and electronic health records, says Dr. Rajendra Sharma, Medical Superintendent, Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi.

Most of the country’s medical and health-related institutions still run on paper-based systems as per the requirements of law, thus covering the risk of potential legal exposure, Dr Sharma said during an ASSOCHAM conference on 'Health Security for All: Transforming Healthcare' held in Delhi.

Dr Sharma suggested stringent parameters for the legal framework for protecting privacy in the electronic health records ecosystem.

“This would go a long way in protecting the patients and their data as also their respective handling in the hands of medical and health related industries,” he added.

"The problems in Indian healthcare system are due to increased costs which make a negative outcome doubtful. Also, a significant part of healthcare delivery chain is under regulated", said Dr. Sharma.

Dr RN Kalra, Medical Director, Kalra Hospital, Delhi, said, “Today, violence against doctors and hospitals remains a burning issue and a big challenge for the medical fraternity as well as the healthcare structure.”

He demanded that government should declare zero tolerance of violence against doctors and clinical establishments which is reaching a very critical situation. The ultimate sufferers are the patients only, he pointed out.

Dr Kalra stated “The lack of literacy, knowledge about healthcare, diseases, natural history of illnesses, unreasonable expectations, political backing for vested interests and anger against governmental mismanagement are responsible for the high headed violence against doctors.”

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