Residents who go to see a doctor at Shenzhen No. 2 Hospital have been required to use resident health cards for outpatient services since Aug. 12, while all public hospitals in Shenzhen are expected to implement the same standard by the end of next year, the Nanfang Daily reported Wednesday.
Residents can use their second-generation ID cards to apply for the health cards at the hospital’s self-service machines or service windows. The health cards will be linked to personal bank accounts or their social security accounts.
The adoption of health cards is expected to cut waiting time for patients.
Instead of standing in line, patients will be able to make appointments with doctors, pay medical fees and review personal health information with the cards.
As health cards will be used in all public hospitals around the city, patients’ medical records will be saved in the information system as digital files, which will gradually replace paper files and enhance information sharing among different medical institutions.
The health cards will serve as the only medical identification for each Shenzheners, said Lin Denan, director of the city’s medical information center.
“It is vital to build an electronic health record for each resident, with all personal medical information accessible to any doctor a resident visits,” Lin said.
As the first trial hospital to use the new health cards, Shenzhen No. 2 People’s Hospital has closed several charge windows, with staff members explaining how to use the health cards to patients and providing assistance to applicants.
The Shenzhen Maternity and Children Care Center is also preparing to use the cards, while the practice will be expanded citywide by the end of next year.