Security improvements to Singapore’s National Electronic Health Records to be done by this year

SINGAPORE: Most of the security enhancements to the National Electronic Health Records (NEHR) are expected to be completed within the year, Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary said in Parliament during his ministry’s Committee of Supply debate on 5 Mar.

Key Enabler During Covid-19

As a repository of patient summary records, the NEHR has been a “key enabler” in facilitating provision of care during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Dr Puthucheary.

With the NEHR, healthcare professionals are able to access their patients’ COVID-19 test results and existing medical conditions prior to their vaccination.

The NEHR was enhanced this year to meet the requirements for COVID-19 vaccination display, reporting and alerts, he added.

2018 Cyber-attack on SingHealth

These measures have been implemented following an unprecedented cyber-attack on SingHealth’s IT system.

In 2018, a total of 1.5 million SingHealth patients’ non-medical personal data were stolen, while 160,000 of those had their dispensed medicines’ records taken too, according to MCI and MOH.

Going Forward

“Data security remains a key priority”, said Dr. Puthucheary. More healthcare institutions will also be on-boarded to contribute to NEHR.


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