National E-Health Authority (NeHA): Functions & Benefits

Recently the Government has announced the setting up a National e-Health Authority (NeHA) for the promotion of e-Health standards by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

REASONS FOR SETTING UP OF NeHA

  • The National Knowledge Commission (NKC) had recommended in 2008 about the formation of National Health Information Authority (NHIA) to support implementation on e-health. 
  • High Level Expert Group (HLEG) set up by planning commission in the background of 12th five year (2012-2017) had suggested Health Education Research (HER) & setting up a nationwide network to support the same. 
  • They had done so as part of proposing Universal Health Coverage. 
  • ‘Digital India’ Program had been announced on Aug-2014 & a set of on line health care services are scheduled to be offered. 

ABOUT NeHA

  • It will be the nodal authority that will be liable for progress of an integrated Health Information system in India. 
  • It will also be responsible for imposing the laws & regulations linking to the privacy & security of the patient’s health information & records. 
  • NeHA will be setup through an appropriate legislation. 
  • The Chairman will be a well-known person in the field of Medicine, Public Health or Judiciary. 

FUNCTIONS OF NeHA

  • To guide the implementation of e-health solutions at various levels & areas in a manner that meaningful aggregation of health & governance data & storage/ exchange of electronic health records happens at different levels in a cost-effective method. 
  • To enable integration of multiple health IT systems through health information exchanges. 
  • To supervise systematic development of state wide & nationwide electronic health record store/exchange system that safeguards security, confidentiality & privacy of patient data & continuity of care. 
  • To engage with shareholders through various means so that e-health plans are adopted & other policy, regulatory & legal provisions are implemented by both the public & private sector shareholders. 
  • To sponsor the setting up of state health records storehouses & health information exchanges. 
  • To address the problems related to privacy & confidentiality of patients’ Electronic Health Record (EHR) in the legislation. 

BENEFITS OF THE SCHEME

  • Better manage care for patients by providing precise, up-to-date & complete information about patients at the point of care. 
  • Access of patient records quickly for more coordinated, efficient care. 
  • Share electronic information securely with patients & other clinicians. 
  • Reduced cost through less paperwork, improved safety, reduced duplication of testing, improved health. 

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