It’s no surprise that healthcare is in the spotlight. It is one of the biggest industry sectors in all European economies, and gets allocated a high percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in every country. The share is expected to increase because population is getting older and medical technology is developing fast, leading to health expenditure growing faster than GDP.
Electronic Medical Records have been used for over ten years in some pioneer countries such as Finland, Denmark and Sweden. These countries have had 100% penetration in both primary and secondary care and have been evaluated the best in various reports by the European Commission, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and Accenture. These countries have extensive experience of the benefits IT can create in healthcare, as well as the hurdles that have to be overcome to succeed. Logica is the number one healthcare IT provider in Finland and Sweden.
There is emerging scientific data showing how IT can leverage both clinical quality and efficiency. One must always bear in mind that IT is only a tool, it doesn’t make anything better by itself. But industry leaders in other sectors have been able to use technology to improve quality and efficiency.
As expectations for improved healthcare continue to evolve, older IT systems increasingly struggle to deliver a truly integrated flow of information, and healthcare professionals increasingly experience healthcare technology that is below expectation. Newer EMR systems have become available which have sophisticated user-friendly cloud based infrastructure (like the iPad), which can easily integrate to the current clinical IT systems used by hospitals, and which can streamline and automate certain processes.
Gartner calls them fourth generation EMR systems (or using Gartner language, CPR) that will replace systems that pioneer organisations have used for over ten years. In addition to these pioneers there are plenty of organisations still using paper that are thinking about going electronic - and there are plenty of reasons for them to do so!
Digital records can hold the full details of an individual’s medical history in a secure and easy to use interface, accessible everywhere by anybody (qualified), which ultimately helps to direct diagnostic and therapeutic decisions when a patient enters the healthcare system. New generation systems provide decision support capabilities, which combine dynamic patient information (such as diagnoses, allergies, current treatment, etc.) to static medical knowledge. These help clinicians make the right decisions on how to treat certain conditions (such as pregnant women with epilepsy, diabetics with a raised risk of lactic acidosis, acutely sick children with genetic predispositions, etc.).
In addition to this, these new generation systems may automate some processes such as referral qualification, laboratory scheduling and other pre-diagnostic studies and so on. These functions improve the quality of care delivery, free up time for clinicians to see more patients, and directly contribute to improved patient safety.
When it comes to the healthcare industry, Logica really has its finger on the pulse. We understand healthcare and its processes.
We work locally across Europe and know the landscape and recent trends intimately. We are happy to share this knowledge with you in this study and welcome your thoughts and ideas in future discussions.