NABIDH for Patients: All Your Questions Answered

Your medical records are your doctor’s gateway to better care delivery. Timely access to these records can transform your experience as a patient, ensure you get the best, personalized treatment for your illness, and dramatically improve your health outcomes. And this is one of the primary objectives of Dubai Health Authority’s NABIDH program. However, as a care receiver, it’s only natural for you to harbour several questions about this innovative and ground-breaking system of healthcare. This article answers all your questions about DHA’s NABIDH, and helps build your confidence in the system, so that you can make the most of it, and be an active part of your healthcare journey. Let’s start with the most basic question:

  1. What is NABIDH?

NABIDH is a pioneering healthcare endeavour in Dubai that functions as a central communication portal, unifying health records from both public and private healthcare facilities across the emirate of Dubai. This system enables authorized healthcare professionals to efficiently access comprehensive patient information, thus enriching the quality and continuity of care provided to you.

  1. Who Has Access to My Information?

When it comes to health data, confidentiality and security are paramount. This is made sure by NABIDH, Dubai’s patient security secret. NABIDH ensures that only authorized healthcare professionals, including licensed physicians, nurses, and allied health personnel sanctioned by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), possess access to your consolidated health record. Access to your health information is rigorously restricted to those directly involved in your care, ensuring utmost confidentiality and privacy. This is done using highly efficient and effective authentication and authorization methods, as recommended by DHA in the NABIDH Authentication and Authorization Policy.

  1. Is My Healthcare Facility Linked to NABIDH?

The NABIDH team is diligently striving to interconnect all healthcare facilities, both public and private, in Dubai with the NABIDH network. To ascertain if your healthcare facility is integrated into the NABIDH Network, you can either verify online, or check with your healthcare facility/provider during your next visit. Integration into the NABIDH Network guarantees that your healthcare providers possess access to your consolidated health record, thereby facilitating informed decision-making and personalized care.

  1. What Medical Information Will My Healthcare Providers Access?

NABIDH securely consolidates various facets of your medical history. This includes demographics, encounters, allergies, vitals, previous procedures, lab results, prescriptions, and other clinical documents. This holistic overview empowers your healthcare professionals to make well-informed decisions tailored to your individual needs. Be assured, sensitive information remains safeguarded, with access granted solely to those directly involved in your care.

  1. Can I Opt-Out of the NABIDH Health Information Exchange (HIE) Platform?

Participation in NABIDH is voluntary. Therefore, you reserve the right to opt-out of the program if you so wish. This is guaranteed by the NABIDH Consent and Access Control Policy. However, it’s imperative to understand the repercussions of such a decision. Opting out may lead to delayed access to critical medical information during emergencies, potentially impacting the promptness and quality of care that you receive. Furthermore, opting out does not exempt your health information from being utilized anonymously.

  1. What Happens if I Opt Out of NABIDH?

Opting out of NABIDH results in barring access to your health information, even in emergency treatment scenarios. This precaution guarantees that your data remains inaccessible through NABIDH, potentially resulting in prolonged wait times or delays in receiving vital medical information during emergencies. It’s vital to discuss this decision with your healthcare provider to fully grasp its implications.

  1. Can I Opt-Out of Specific Facilities?

Yes, you have the option to opt-out of particular facilities while remaining interconnected within the broader NABIDH network. However, it’s crucial to weigh the clinical advantages against the potential constraints of limiting data accessibility to specific facilities. Opting out of particular facilities requires you to submit certain forms available at the facilities, or online via the NABIDH website.

  1. How long is my health data retained in the NABIDH system?

In adherence to UAE legislation on the Utilization of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in healthcare, health data stored within NABIDH is retained for a minimum of 25 years from the date of the last health encounter. This ensures the availability of comprehensive medical records for the sake of continuity of care, research, and for the purpose of regulatory compliance.

The intricacies of health information exchange may seem quite daunting, especially when it concerns ensuring the safety and security of your medical data. However, NABIDH attempts to simplify this process while upholding patient privacy and data security. By understanding the fundamentals of NABIDH and actively engaging in informed decision-making, you can not only take full control of your health, but also play a crucial role in fostering a more interconnected and efficient healthcare ecosystem in Dubai.