Whether from lifestyle gadgets or medical devices, data is driving healthcare delivery across the world. To utilise this vast amount of healthcare data, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DOH) and Injazat Data Systems launched Malaffi, the region’s first Health Information Exchange (HIE) platform as a Public-Private Partnership. This is a significant milestone for the Emirate and industry, as a patient’s medical information is critical for making well-informed decisions, and ultimately improving quality of care and patient outcomes. Previously, providers recorded patient’s information in their electronic medical records (EMR) systems, which meant patient information remained in silos within the boundaries of each provider’s EMR and were not available to other providers. Malaffi, as an Emirate-wide initiative, will safely and securely connect all public and private healthcare providers in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, enabling them to meaningfully and in real-time exchange important patient health information, ultimately creating a centralised database of unified patient records. Malaffi will connect. Through Malaffi, there are unmatched opportunities for providers and the industry to improve care in a way that has never been feasible on such a scale before.
Speaking about Malaffi, H.E Mohammed Hamad Al Hameli, Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said: “We are firmly committed to providing the very best healthcare solutions and technologies to the people of Abu Dhabi. In line with our future-forward vision, we are proud to see a series of milestones for Malaffi in its journey to utilise technology to improve patient outcomes. This is a shared goal across the Emirate, evident through the active participation of leading healthcare providers, both private and public, to adopt the new Malaffi system. We look forward to more milestones in the coming months as we create a better-connected healthcare system and ultimately a healthier Emirate.”
Atif Al Braiki, the Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Health Data Services, the operator of Malaffi, added: “As the dynamics of our healthcare landscape continue to evolve – from our growing and aging populations to the rising prevalence of chronic conditions – the needs of our doctors and patients are changing. An HIE platform will allow providers to source crucial healthcare data to ultimately improve care coordination and allocate healthcare resources more efficiently. It has been great to see so many key players come together across the healthcare sector to elevate healthcare quality and patient outcomes across the Emirate. We are looking forward to a more collaborative and technology-focused future to continue to support and drive world-class care across Abu Dhabi.”
To date, more than 1,700 healthcare facilities have joined Malaffi, out of which around 350 have already onboarded the platform, and approximately 15,500 users from those facilities have access to Malaffi, which contains about 38 million patient records for 3 million patients. Some of the providers that have already onboarded Malaffi include Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), United Eastern Medical Services (UEMedical) group, Mediclinic Al Noor Hospital and Kanad Hospital (formerly known as Oasis Hospital). Many other providers are in the onboarding pipeline and will be able to utilise Malaffi very soon.
Commenting on Malaffi’s achievements, Dr. Charles Alessi, Chief Clinical Officer, HIMSS International, said: “What Malaffi has achieved to date is both inspiring and impressive. One of the most significant accomplishments has been the speed of implementation and onboarding. Abu Dhabi has established itself as a great example of adopting an HIE platform promptly and successfully to improve patient outcomes.”
Malaffi brings together key patient information, including; patient demographic information, medication, allergies, laboratory and radiology results, procedures and all medical interactions, from consultation to emergency treatment. This provides a myriad of benefits to providers, patients and the general public in the following ways.
Empowering providers with data
Medical professionals are on the frontline of delivering healthcare and increased efficiencies can dramatically improve patient outcomes, such as:
Reduced medical errors. With 80% of serious medical errors involving miscommunication between healthcare providers during the transfer of patients from one provider to the next1, Malaffi will enable providers to access all the health information they need which can reduce error and misdiagnosis.
Reduce duplication. Providers will have more information about their patients than ever before. As such, they are now able to reduce the unnecessary duplication of diagnostic and treatment procedures.
Increased efficiency. Better communication and reduced duplication increase efficiency, patient experience and satisfaction. For example, in the US, the implementation of a HIE system resulted in a 12% reduction in consultations by multiple physicians, a 7% reduction in the emergency department length of stay, 4.5% reduction in readmission odds within 30 days2, and a 25% decrease in the odds of imaging procedures being repeated3.
Workforce satisfaction. By empowering providers through access to comprehensive and timely health information, Malaffi will assist in reducing stress and the time spent on administrative tasks so that doctors can have more face time with their patients.
Enhancing the patient experience
Visiting a doctor can be physically and emotionally challenging for many patients. Patients often have to undertake unnecessary tests, multiple doctor visits and repeat procedures for the same health issue. This is often due to the non-availability of past patient health information such as test results or diagnoses, which are not shared between healthcare providers and remain inaccessible to the attending doctor and care team. Through Malaffi, patients can rest assured that their provider has all their necessary health information, which will ultimately reduce stress for patients and their loved ones, and importantly improve their patient experience from the start to the end of their journey.
Malaffi will also improve patient safety by reducing the risk of medical and medication errors. It will enhance the patient journey for those with chronic or malignant diseases who need to see multiple doctors regularly by ensuring providers have access to all the data necessary to best coordinate care.
Providing access to patients
To help patients better manage their health, soon, Malaffi will be launching a patient mobile application. Through the app, patients will have access to their medical information at their fingertips and check their Malaffi file anytime, anywhere, even if they are travelling. Thanks to its patient-friendly interface, the app will engage patients in their care, support prevention and ultimately increase patients’ health literacy. Malaffi will be providing a sneak peek of the app at this year’s edition of Arab Health, exhibited at Malaffi’s stand which is located within the DOH stand (Hall 5, H5.B10).
1. Joint Commission – https://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/6/tst_hoc_persp_08_12.pdf
2. Janakiraman, R. et al. (2017) The Effects of Health Information Exchange Access on Healthcare Quality and Efficiency: An Empirical Investigation. Mays Business School Research Paper No. 2915190.
3. Vest, et al (2014), Health Information Exchange and the frequency of repeat medical imaging, Am. Journal of Managed Care, 20: 16 –24