Digital Health Policy and Programs for Hospital Care in Vietnam: Scoping Review

Vietnam ICU Translational Applications Laboratory (VITAL)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There are a host of emergent technologies with the potential to improve hospital care in low- and middle-income countries such as Vietnam. Wearable monitors and artificial intelligence–based decision support systems could be integrated with hospital-based digital health systems such as electronic health records (EHRs) to provide higher level care at a relatively low cost. However, the appropriate and sustainable application of these innovations in low- and middle-income countries requires an understanding of the local government’s requirements and regulations such as technology specifications, cybersecurity, data-sharing protocols, and interoperability. Objective: This scoping review aims to explore the current state of digital health research and the policies that govern the adoption of digital health systems in Vietnamese hospitals. Methods: We conducted a scoping review using a modification of the PRISMA-ScR (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews) guidelines. PubMed and Web of Science were searched for academic publications, and Th Vi n Pháp Lu t, a proprietary database of Vietnamese government documents, and the Vietnam Electronic Health Administration website were searched for government documents. Google Scholar and Google Search were used for snowballing searches. The sources were assessed against predefined eligibility criteria through title, abstract, and full-text screening. Relevant information from the included sources was charted and summarized. The review process was primarily undertaken by one researcher and reviewed by another researcher during each step. Results: In total, 11 academic publications and 20 government documents were included in this review. Among the academic studies, 5 reported engineering solutions for information systems in hospitals, 2 assessed readiness for EHR implementation, 1 tested physicians’ performance before and after using clinical decision support software, 1 reported a national laboratory information management system, and 2 reviewed the health system’s capability to implement eHealth and artificial intelligence. Of the 20 government documents, 19 were promulgated from 2013 to 2020. These regulations and guidance cover a wide range of digital health domains, including hospital information management systems, general and interoperability standards, cybersecurity in health organizations, conditions for the provision of health information technology (HIT), electronic health insurance claims, laboratory information systems, HIT maturity, digital health strategies, electronic medical records, EHRs, and eHealth architectural frameworks. Conclusions: Research about hospital-based digital health systems in Vietnam is very limited, particularly implementation studies. Government regulations and guidance for HIT in health care organizations have been released with increasing frequency since 2013, targeting a variety of information systems such as electronic medical records, EHRs, and laboratory information systems. In general, these policies were focused on the basic specifications and standards that digital health systems need to meet. More research is needed in the future to guide the implementation of digital health care systems in the Vietnam hospital setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere32392
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Administrative information
  • Compulsory
  • Data
  • Digital health
  • EHealth
  • Electronic medical records
  • Health
  • Health insurance ID
  • Hospital care
  • Mobile phone
  • Patient ID
  • Policy
  • Standards
  • Vietnam


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