Japan Establishes Nationwide Medical Record Sharing System

In April 2017, Japan’s health ministry announced plans to establish a computer network allowing all medical institutions in Japan to access patient medical records. Currently, it is difficult for medical institutions to share patient medical information, often leading to repeat exams and procedures. This new system will allow patient information to be managed through an existing ID system called My Number.

Patient information sharing has already begun in several large Japanese hospitals. The health ministry plans to have the network in place by fiscal year 2020 and hopes that all medical institutions will implement the new system, despite challenges such as time and costs.