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Database on health goes live


Significant milestone: (From left) Dr Noor Hisham, Dr Subramaniam and Mimos Bhd president Datuk Abdul Wahab Abdullah launching the MyHDW service at the Health Ministry in Putrajaya.

Significant milestone: (From left) Dr Noor Hisham, Dr Subramaniam and Mimos Bhd president Datuk Abdul Wahab Abdullah launching the MyHDW service at the Health Ministry in Putrajaya.

PUTRAJAYA: A central database containing health-related information from both public and private hospitals in Malaysia has gone live.

Called the Malaysian Health Data Warehouse (MyHDW), it will allow those in healthcare services to make better and more “educated” decisions and cut wastage.

Describing it as a “significant milestone”, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subra­maniam said the information would also allow for better analysis, adding that this was useful in the provision and planning of healthcare.

“With better analysis, we can provide service and treatment that are evidence-based and more cost-effective solutions,” Dr Subra­maniam told reporters after the launch of MyHDW here yesterday.

According to the Health Ministry, Malaysia is the seventh country in the world to have such a system.

Developed jointly by the ministry and Mimos Berhad, it compiles data from various public and private healthcare facilities in the country, including university and military hospitals.

At present, the MyHDW system, which is in its first phase, has a collection of data from 2.5 million inpatients from government and military hospitals and day-care unit services.

“We will continue to collect more data from outpatients in other healthcare facilities in the second phase.

“To get the best information, we need integrated health data from all – both from the public and private sectors.

“With accurate data, then we can make evidence-based decisions,” Dr Subramaniam told reporters at the event.

With such a database, Dr Subramaniam said information such as the number of breast cancer patients in the country, what race had the highest sufferers or the age at which they were most at risk would be available.

He also assured the public that patient privacy would be of “utmost priority”, adding that sensitive information like identity and personal details would not be accessible.

Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the wealth of information would also help policy-makers and healthcare providers cut wastage.

“If we are treating someone and incur a lot of cost but there is no outcome, then we should change our treatment.

“Through information available on this database, we can make informed decisions and not those made on ‘what I think is right’ or common perception,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

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