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A Backup System for Clinical Information after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 May 2019

Masaharu Nakayama*
Affiliation:
Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan
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Abstract

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Introduction:

On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami hit the northeastern part of Japan, causing 15,895 deaths and 2,539 missing persons as of March 1, 2018. Moreover, many medical facilities were destroyed, resulting in the loss of medical information stored in paper records or on servers in hospitals and clinics.

Aim:

To highlight the need for a backup system for saving all clinical information during disaster preparation.

Results:

In 2012, a prefectural medical network system - the Miyagi Medical and Welfare Information Network (MMWIN) - introduced a cloud backup data storage service for disasters. This system facilitates the sharing of clinical data among hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and other care facilities. The backup system is based on the Standardized Structured Medical Information Exchange (SS-MIX), which enables data from medical record systems, developed by different vendors, to be stored in a common format. By the end of September 2018, the total backed up clinical data, including patients’ basic information, disease names, blood tests, and prescription list, reached 370 million items from 11.2 million persons. We renewed the system last year and initiated an image data sharing service this year. The number of facilities within the MMWIN was 948, while the number of opt-in patients exceeded 80,000.

Discussion:

Although the project was financed by the government, a usage fee was collected from the participating facilities. To sustain this project, it is crucial to improve the balance between cost and income by increasing the number of participating facilities and decreasing maintenance cost. Thus, our clinical information backup system for disasters facilitates information sharing among medical facilities.

Type
Technology
Copyright
© World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2019 
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