Digital Certification in Health: The doctor is the key part


digital certification healthThe quest for the operational agility within the health sector in Brazil is driving force behind the technological developments in this sector. It helps to improve the quality of services and care of patients. The digitalisation throughout the medical chain drives the adoption of new procedures and resources, including electronic medical records and the use of digital certifications in issuing prescriptions, examinations ?and medical reports. In this scenario, medical professionals are critical, because only a physician – not the hospital ?itself- has legal and intellectual competence to sign medical documents related to the health of individuals.

Direct access to critical medical information

Even though, there is the legal requirement for physicians to adopt the digital certificates standards of the Brazilian Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), locally known as ICP-Brazil. An growing number of electronic identities (eIDs) are already being issued within this professional field. This motivates the health industry to invest in advanced technologies towards a paperless health system , which goes beyond the elimination of paper. It actually has more to do with the improvement of procedures, digitalisation of management processes and the storage of patient data. The digitalisation within health care involves compliance at all levels. The ability of a physician to access the medical record of a patient on any computer or mobile means less time washed and direct access to the relevant and critical information.

As the paper process is being replaced by an electronic processes, there is a need to ensure the validity of the process, the physicians signature and the whether this doctor is qualified. The use of digital certifications is the answer for this need and is motivated by two new features involved in the Brazilian digitalisation of medical procedures. The Patient Electronic Medical Record (Prontu?rio Eletr?nico do Paciente; PEP), which provides information about the current treatment of the patient and the Electronic Health Registration, which is an repository of the patients clinical history. Both can be accessed online at any health facility linked to the service network. Because these are all digital documents, only a digital certificate guarantees the validity of the document and used signature. The less paper involved in the patient care process, greater is the control of patient information, which ensures the physician to monitor the health of the patient, enhancing the quality and correctness of the diagnoses and prescriptions of the doctor.

Added value of digital certificates within health care

digital certification healthDigital certificates also has other important role within the health system, such as access to TISS (Troca de Informa??o em Sa?de Suplementar), which is an system of exchanging information. This is a mandatory standard for electronic health data transfer between health care professionals. Next to that, digital certificates are also used to deliver the registration of medical expenses refunded within the DMED system. Because there is no limitation on medical expenses in Brazil, some taxpayers are tempted to declare more medical expenses than were actually incurred, with the sole purpose of receiving a larger tax refund. The sytem of DMED was developed to combat fraudulent medical deductions by individual taxpayers.

Digital certification contributes to the fight against fraud at all levels, from request and examinations reports to prescription. Only the right person or entity can issued and sign these kind of digital documents and tampering is not possible.

In this scenario, it is noted that doctors restate their role as care professional – not only spending more time with patients – but also in all processes that involves the improvement of control and digitalisation. Digital certificates have an added value for the whole health care system.

Read more:

This article has been published previously on Forum Sau de Digital (Brazil)