Prof. Suptendra Nath Sarbadhikari
Project Director, Centre for Health Informatics
Health education naturally should be a fundamental part of the education system. Specifically, ICT solutions can be made responsible for building knowledge repositories that could drive the integration and harmonization of public health, healthcare, health research, and health education. Therefore, health informatics education must also be at the core of all education for healthcare professionals, as well as for the ICT professionals. Human resources will evolve from appropriate capacity building initiatives – learning-unlearning-relearning. Appropriate incentives (like career progression options) should be identified and used in conjunction with training and implementation.
Adoption of health informatics standards is a prerequisite for interoperability of health information systems. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India, by recommending the Guidelines for EHR Standards and getting the Country membership for SNOMED-CT has actually taken forward looking steps.
The Digital India initiatives also mandate the adoption of eHealth. To facilitate the smooth adoption of eHealth, the present central government is in the process of setting up the National eHealth Authority (NeHA). I personally believe that once the NeHA is formed, its first job should be to formulate a realistic National eHealth Strategy / Policy, in consultation with all the stakeholders.