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HKMA’s Three-Pronged Approach to Drive eHR Adoption and Sharing among Doctors

HKMA Three-Pronged Approach

“To promote the adoption and sharing of electronic health records (eHR) among doctors, we do it in three ways: launching the software the Hong Kong Medical Association (HKMA) Clinical Management System (CMS) Yuan Wang (YW), introducing the HKMA CMS Nuwa (NW) and cultivating the concept.”

Dr Ho Chung-ping
Chairman of Information Technology Committee,
Hong Kong Medical Association
Dr Ho Chung-ping described the implementation of the ground-breaking Electronic Health Record Sharing System (eHRSS) as a dream that has come true. “This is a consolidation of information from various sources that can facilitate a synergy in healthcare and better patient decision,” Dr Ho expressed.
“Doctors no longer need to search paper records or log on to different systems to access patients’ information. They can now view the relevant information in one place,” said Dr Ho, a specialist in nephrology who also leads the Information Technology Committee of the HKMA.
Dr Ho said the HKMA has been working to facilitate eHR sharing among doctors. He hoped further efforts being undertaken by the Association, including the development of new software, can boost the usage of clinical management systems by doctors in the private sector from the present some 35% to 60% in the next two to three years.
“It is not just about having the software. We need to publicise and get across the merits of eHR sharing among doctors,” he added.

Pave the Way of Medical Information Exchange

The HKMA launched the clinical management system HKMA CMS 3.0 in 2009, an open source system with a multi-purpose platform and the ability to integrate with other medical information systems.

CMS 3.0
“We understand that doctors in the private sector always want a system that is easy to use, free and sustainable with good maintenance service. The HKMA CMS 3.0 was launched to serve such purposes,” he said.
Dr Ho said with the development of the territory-wide eHRSS, building connectivity to the system has become one of the essential requirements of clinical management software.
In order to improve its clinical management system, the HKMA has obtained a HK$3-million funding from the Food and Health Bureau in December 2014 to roll out the Wenchang (文昌) Project, which involves the development of two systems, namely the HKMA CMS YW and the HKMA CMS NW, and the systems’ integration with the eHRSS.
Dr Ho said the HKMA CMS YW, named after the Yuan Wang (遠望) space tracking ships, is an improvement on the HKMA CMS 3.0 with eHRSS connectivity. It was launched in December 2015.
Major features of HKMA CMS YW:
  Technical development based on the HKMA CMS 3.0
  Enhancement and enrichment of functionalities
  Incorporation of the HKMA’s Document Management System (DMS) to handle scanned documents
  Integration with the eHRSS via an eHR Viewer and the Encapsulated Linkage Security Application (ELSA)
  Upgrading of data structure and technical components to support eHRSS integration
When the Government released the CMS On-ramp in late 2014, the HKMA tried out the system and found it robust and advanced. It can check for patients’ drug allergy history in a standardised way and has built-in eHRSS connectivity. It is comprehensive, covering clinical workflow from appointment, assessment, consultation, dispensary and billing, inventory to reporting, and can share patient’s clinical data with the eHRSS. Though document management function is not indispensable to eHRSS connection, it inspires the HKMA to incorporate its DMS, which private doctors need, in the CMS On-ramp.
Dr Ho said part of the Wenchang Project is to develop the HKMA NW from the CMS On-ramp. The version is named after the ancient Chinese goddess Nuwa (女媧) and will be introduced in June 2016.
Major Features of the HKMA CMS NW:
  Technical development based on the CMS On-ramp
  Incorporation of the DMS to handle scanned documents
Dr Ho said both the HKMA CMS YW and HKMA CMS NW allow doctors to use the eHRSS to view information and upload data. “The latter is higher-end with more advanced functionalities. Doctors can choose between the two to suit their own needs,” he said, adding that both systems are available free-of-charge, and come with complimentary onsite installation and technical support in certain areas.
The HKMA's two new versions of CMS are offered to doctors free of charge
The HKMA's two new versions of CMS are offered to doctors free of charge

Cultivate the Concept

Developing software aside, Dr Ho said the HKMA is taking publicity and education initiatives to promote eHR adoption. “We run talks, seminars and roadshows to update our members on the development of eHR sharing and software in order to generate more interest among them,” he said.

“We emphasise the future need for the usage and sharing of eHR, that it would enhance doctors’ competitiveness and improve communications among doctors to achieve better patient outcomes. It can also help avoid repeated medical tests and examinations for patients,” said Dr Ho.

“There are concerns that doctors are obliged to read all the detailed information in the eHRSS. If they have tried out the system, they will notice that there is a summary page on the patients’ medical and allergy history. It takes about two minutes to read through the summary page. It’s not difficult and all important information is there,” Dr Ho stressed.

Using and sharing eHRs: preparing for future need
Using and sharing eHRs: preparing for future need

The Names

  Wenchang (文昌) is the site for a new space launch centre in Hainan in mainland China.
  Yuan Wang (遠望) is the name of the space tracking ships that carry out monitoring tasks at sea after space ship launching. Yuan Wang are two Chinese characters in romanised form, which mean “long” and “view”.
  In ancient Chinese mythology, Nuwa (女媧) worked with Fuxi (伏羲) to set order of the universe.
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