Will it be possible for current health informations systems (HIS) to be integrated into a national health information system? How can existing health information systems in the Philippines be harmonized into a single system without violating data privacy and confidentiality? Currently, the Philippines has a fragmented health information system where health institutions across the country use their own health information technology; thus, we cannot expect the interoperability among these systems.The interoperability of health information systems make the transfer of patient/consumer data from one facility to another easier while maintaining the basic standards of privacy and confidentiality as espoused by the Data Privacy Act.
Building a national health information system from scratch is counterproductive. Rather, the government should enforce the implementation of Health Data Standards for eHealth Standardization and Interoperability to promote uniformity and consistency of health data, and facilitate data exchange among different information systems through the Philippine Health Information Exchange (PHIE). The PHIE can serve as a common, standardized point of communication between various systems engaged in information exchange, where organizations use standard message structures defined to contain the required health information requested or supplied by the exchanging parties. As such, each existing HIS will only need to convert its data to standard message structures and connect to the PHIE, reducing substantial cost and time spent in developing a whole new information system.