Patients in Taiwan will no longer have to undergo the same medical tests repeatedly, once the nationwide electronic medical records plan kicks off this November, the Department of Health said. “The plan allows doctors from different hospitals to access a patient’s EMR with the patient’s consent,” said Hsu Min-huei, director of the DOH’s Department of Medical Informatics. He added that many hospitals in other countries such as Canada, the U.K and U.S. are already using EMRs. “It helps save paper, prevent re-examinations and cut back on unnecessary medical expenditures,” Hsu said. According to Hsu, the plan works under an index mechanism. “Doctors will be able to look up the patient’s name, examination date and item,” he pointed out. To ensure a patient’s privacy, the system will keep track of which doctors access which files. Under the plan, doctors can access blood test results, CAT scans, MRIs, outpatient service records, a summary of a patient’s condition and medication prescribed during hospitalisation. The plan will be launched at 126 hospitals in Taiwan including Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-ho Memorial Hospital, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taipei Medical University Hospital and Wan Fang Hospital in November.