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Colombia: Law Creating Interoperable Electronic Health Records System Enacted

(Mar. 9, 2020) On January 31, 2020, the Colombian Congress enacted Law 2015, which creates an interoperable electronic medical records system that grants medical professionals online access to relevant clinical data, such as documents and clinical records covering the life course of each person.

Under the new Law, health care providers will be required to fill out and manage medical data, documents, and records on the interoperability platform established by the government.

The Law places the Ministry of Health and Social Protection (MHSP) in charge of defining and implementing the mechanisms and requirements for the interoperability of the medical records data. The implementation of the digital medical history record system must be completed countrywide by 2025.

The Law provides that the MHSP and the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT) are to formulate regulations applicable to the system’s interoperability model within 12 months of the Law’s entry into force, with the MHSP administering the interoperability model and the MICT administering the technical aspects of the platform.

Regarding security, each individual is to have free access and remain the owner of his or her medical record information. Health care providers may access this information provided that the patient has given consent.

Health care providers, administrators, or anyone else with access to the system is prohibited from disclosing to anyone the information on a patient included in the patient’s medical records without the specific authorization of the patient.

According to the Minister of Health, the digital medical history record system is a major step in improving the health of the Colombian people because it simplifies and speeds up access to basic health information of patients, allowing for better and faster diagnoses and follow-ups and less bureaucracy.