Protecting the privacy of patients’ health information

4 April 2021

Abdulla Bader Al Sayari, Chief Information Security Officer at the Department of Health-Abu Dhabi, reflects on the importance of the recently introduced DOH Standard on Patient Healthcare Data Privacy for ensuring patient privacy at all times.

“At the Department of Health, we continually strive to maintain excellence in healthcare standards. By shaping a regulatory framework for the healthcare system, we develop and implement a set of industry standards that must be followed by all healthcare facilities and providers across the Emirate. These cover an extensive range of subjects pertaining to the healthcare sector and are key to sustaining and improving service and care levels and ensuring excellence.

In recent years, we have made a concerted shift towards digitalisation within the Abu Dhabi healthcare system and as we enter 2021, it has become one of the most progressive in the world. Malaffi, which safely and securely allows real-time exchange of important patient health information, also provides a platform from which many more advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning technologies can be utilised, handling even more patient data, and further improving the management of our population’s health.

With such rapid changes in the way we use health data, it is imperative that we set out standards to protect the privacy of our patients’ health information. To this end, the ‘DOH Standard on Patient Healthcare Data Privacy’ was recently introduced, outlining how identifiable patient health information must be appropriately protected as outlined by federal laws. Compliance with the secure and safe use of such data will ensure data confidentiality and integrity, and patient privacy at all times, maintaining the high standards Abu Dhabi is known for.

Malaffi and the DOH continue to work together to evolve the sector and provide access to a rich data source that can truly transform the way we deliver healthcare. The future is exciting and as technology offers new possibilities, ensuring patient care and patient privacy go hand in hand will remain our priority”.

Abdulla Bader Al Sayari
Chief Information Security Officer
Department of Health – Abu Dhabi