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EghtesadOnline: In a new step toward the digitalization of health care services, all physicians will be able to use a digital signature for medical prescriptions and patients' health records in a year, a deputy at Iran Medical Council said.

Mohammad Jahangiri added that the use of digital signature will also cut fraudulent actions and prevent the misuse of online prescriptions, along with the speedy processing and delivery of medicine in drugstores.

A digital signature is a specific type of electronic signature that identifies the signatory and authenticates the digital message or document with a digital code.

Jahangiri said physicians willing to digitize their services can visit IMC's website, Irimc.org, and apply for a digital signature. To do this, they are required to enter their national ID and medical identification code in the application form, Financial Tribune reported.

"Digital signatures will authenticate the digitized prescriptions and patient records," he said.

The initiative is complementary to Iran’s Social Security Organization project of replacing paper insurance books with electronic cards. 

According to the organization’s director, Taqi Nourbakhsh, the “Health Card” eases Iranians’ access to primary healthcare services.

In recent years, SSO has created an online database of customers, while also upgrading their internal databases to modern formats.

Therefore, the process of offering health care services in SSO-affiliated medical centers around the country has started to shift to electronic mode.

While visiting a doctor, people with subscriptions can use the organization’s services by furnishing their national ID number. The doctor will check the number on the database via the Internet.

The database includes the customer’s health history, enabling the doctor to better understand the patient’s condition.

In addition to the database, doctors can use the cards to prescribe medicine. Instead of issuing written notes, the doctor will type the prescription on SSO’s intranet site and the patient can receive the drugs from any pharmacy having a contract with the organization, which means most major pharmacies.

Nourbakhsh said, “Each individual’s health history will be uploaded on the card. Doctors using specialized devices for reading the data stored on the card can access the patient’s health history without relying on the Internet.”

Ali Moayyery, an official with the organization, said the project is currently operational at SSO's medical centers in over 27 provinces. 

"The organization is now working on extending the project to its contract physicians," he added.

 

Iran Physicians Digital Signature digitalization health care services medical prescriptions health records