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Taiwan: Shared Electronic Database for Health Records

(Oct. 22, 2009) On October 12, 2009, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) approved fast-tracking of a three-year plan through which Taiwan's hospitals would be able to share patients' medical records via a Department of Health (DOH) database. The DOH hopes within that time frame to enable 80% of the hospitals, i.e., about 400 facilities, to “share patient information as contained in digital images, test results and prescription records,” and it also plans “to build up a digital network linking at least 60 percent of all hospitals so as to share patients' electronic medical records via the DOH database,” with full digital connection of all hospitals in Taiwan within five years as the ultimate goal. (Health Records Database Plan Greenlighted, TAIWAN TODAY, Oct. 13, 2009, available at

Beginning in 2010, the results of patients' major medical examinations – in particular CT, MRI, and PET scans – received from one hospital will be retrievable from the database by doctors at other hospitals. In 2011, blood test results and prescription records are to be made available through the database. Access to the database by clinics and hospitals will require the patient's approval and a “signed” electronic authorization form from the relevant medical personnel. (Id.)

The CEPD will provide financial incentives, to a maximum of NT$20 million (about US$619,000) in subsidies over a three-year period, for each qualified hospital to encourage computerization of medical procedures and digitalization of medical records by individual hospitals and clinics. (Id.) The total funds needed for the three-year plan, according to the CEPD, are NT$6.4 billion (about US$198.6 million). (Press Release, CEPD, The Council for Economic Planning and Development Discusses and Passes the Department of Health 's Revised “Plan to Expedite Handling/Processing of Knowledge Medical Care,” with the newly added subproject on “Expediting Medical Institutions' Implementation of an Electronic Medical Records System” [in Chinese] (Oct. 12, 2009), available at

Taiwan's provisions on the handling of electronic medical records are the Measures on the Creation and Management of Electronic Records of Medical Institutions, which were promulgated on November 24, 2005, and last amended on August 11, 2009. (Measures on the Creation and Management of Electronic Records of Medical Institutions [in Chinese], LAWS AND REGULATIONS DATABASE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA, (last visited Oct. 19, 2009).)