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Re: “No more dithering on e-health: let’s keep patients safe instead.”1 Taiwan launched a nationwide Health Smart Card project in 2002 to help reduce fraud, facilitate electronic claims and improve health care quality. The 80 000 authenticated card readers in the health care facilities were connected through a secure digital network to the National Health Insurance data centre. There are two versions of the card — one for citizens, one for professionals — and they are used mainly to track access to care of the insured. But they are also used to store such data as prescriptions, medical procedures, vaccinations and allergies, and are a flag for organ donation willingness.2 As a result, health care providers can use the card as a powerful tool to retain continuity of care. It is almost like a personal and portable electronic health record summary.
For the full letter, go to: www.cmaj.ca/cgi/eletters/cmaj.092189v1#295561