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Hong Kong – from the site of HIMSS AsiaPac 2008

This is my 4th morning in Hong Kong. Pretty soon I have to get ready for the second day of HIMSS AsiaPac 2008. I’m here with Masum bhai and Sazzad bhai. They have already blogged about the bits and pieces of our trip, so I will just talk about my experience on the first day of HIMSS.

I was thoroughly amazed as others of the success Hong Kong has made on Health Information System and how well organized they were in their approach. One thing they sure have is the capacity for long term vision, lack of which has caused big disaster for such national level HIS projects in the past.

My first session yesterday (after the keynote speech) was primarily a case study of an implementation of HIS in a Korean University hospital. The presenter talked about the different challenges of implementing such system. It becomes clear in all such discussion that shifting the mindset of clinician and others involved is one of the major challenge which was also highlighted by the keynote speakers. My second session was on the standardization of the clinical information. There are so many overlapping standard in the Health industry that it really becomes a challenge to find a way to standardize both the coding used to express different information (think ICD, SNOMED etc.) or the storage format for the whole clinical document (HL-7). In the next session the Taiwanese presenter talked about the effort of different countries in Asia Pacific in making inter-operable Electronic Health Record. He also focused on the effort Taiwan is making in not only on inter-operable EHR based on the HL-7 standard but they are also trying to empower the patient. Taiwan’s plan is to make the complete EHR available to patients and also to control the flow on information between service provider through active participation of the patient. Looks like everyone is trying to switch to a patient centric model from the provider centric one. Its also interesting that countries in the Asia Pacific are also trying to make a minimal inter-operable health record for the travelers. Similar efforts are in progress both in Europe and US and it seems experts will soon sit together for standardization of these three formats. Lets hope that they achieve success. I am also hoping that today’s sessions will prove more interesting than yesterday.

Throughout our travel across Hong Kong and in the conference we were reminded again and again about the earth quack victims in China. It is a very tragic incident but the effort people of Hong Kong is making to help these people is also inspiring. Our condolences to the victims and very best wishes to those who are helping these people in need.

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