Dubai Aims to Go Paperless by 2021


Dubai’s government has announced its ambition to go completely paper-free by the end of the year 2021. Its health authority has recently upgraded to a new coding system for medical billing, moving the city one step closer to becoming totally paperless. 


These technologies will enhance people’s lives and will improve their happiness

Aisha Bin Bishr, Smart Dubai

In 2017 the Dubai government launched an initiative named Smart Dubai which aims to digitize all government services, including school enrollments, licence renewals, paying fines, viewing medical records and more. In the two years since its implementation, more than 80 government services can be accessed through the online platform “DubaiNow.” Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan recently lauded the efforts of the initiative and its collaboration with 15 other entities. 


Key stakeholders from the Smart Dubai initiative tout the benefits of switching to a paperless system: saving time, environmental resources and money. The director of the initiative, Aisha Bin Bishr, reported that in the first phase of implementation, the city has already reduced its paper use by 57 percent. The initiative plans to incorporate blockchain technology, a digital record storage system, making transactions more efficient and secure. (Source: Smart Cities Dive)


Now the Dubai Health Authority has announced it is jumping on board by upgrading its medical billing system to the American Medical Association’s copyrighted Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding system, which will take effect immediately in all healthcare centres across the city. The CPT system is a set of 10,000 medical codes used to report medical, surgical and diagnostic procedures and services. It can be accessed by entities such as physicians, health insurance companies and accreditation organisations.


The new coding system has been implemented to make the medical billing process more efficient and less prone to human error, as well as to eliminate paper waste by streamlining the system into a paperless one. One major benefit of the switch will be greater clarity in payments for patients seeking insurance pre-approval to have a clear picture of the total price of required copayments. In addition, the unified coding language ensures accuracy in data collection and speedier insurance approvals, resulting in faster payments to hospitals for services rendered. With the new system in place, patients will be able to access their records and medical bills at the click of a button, eliminating wait times and enhancing the overall quality of life. Bin Bishr of Smart Dubai stated, “To do whatever we do, by bringing on board these technologies, the end goal is not the technology per se, it’s how these technologies will enhance people’s lives and will improve their happiness,” she said.

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