Adoption of Electronic Health Records in India – Roadmap for Policy and Regulations

Adoption of Electronic Health Records in India is in an infant stage. To adopt it at the national level, the stakeholders need to take various steps. There are various steps that need to be taken at the level of the existing policies and regulations in the nation. The following tasks/activities need to be undertaken for the same.


National health IT policy: The Central Government needs to formulate and announce a national health IT policy in consultation with State Governments and other stakeholders. The use of IT in healthcare delivery has already seen some efforts being put in by the state and central government. The policy will ensure that the efforts being made lead to interoperable systems without duplication of effort.

Protection of privacy: Rules and regulations are required to build trust in patients and providers while using e-health applications and assuring the patients that the confidentiality of their health data will not be compromised. It is necessary to have a role-based access system as the number of persons involved in the treatment process is quite large.

Sharing of health information: HER technology can only be successful if healthcare providers are able to share health information. Except for the information given in relation to prescriptions and discharge summaries, this does not exist in present. In the interest of patients, laws are required to ensure that healthcare providers share information electronically.

Use of health information: For use in public health decision-making or in clinical research, the government needs to collect the health information of individual patients. There should be a legislation that provides a mechanism to use clinical information after necessary annonymization.

Liability for technical failures: The regulatory framework should address liability in case of technical failure, arising from malfunction of the system, communication channel, or unavailability of service, which can cause harm to the patient. The regulations should specify the responsibilities of stakeholders so that they are aware of their responsibilities and do not suffer for reasons beyond their control.

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