eHealth at Last! Digital Era…Are We There Yet?
TREND and CEIT Digital Healthcare Conference, 17 April 2018
Embassy Networking Reception: 16th April 2018 | Residence of the British Ambassador to Slovakia, Bratislava, Slovakia
Conference: 17th April 2018 | Digital Healthcare 2018, Hotel NH Gate One, Bratislava
After ten years of preparations, in January the Slovak health system went digital, one of the last health systems in Europe to do so. Medical records, examination reports, hospital discharge reports, the booking of medical appointments and prescriptions are now done electronically. Glitches appeared shortly after the system was launched and although they didn’t kill it, they evidence that the system is far from perfect. The foundation has been laid and the health system can continue expanding its digital services.
What are the benefits of eHealth?
What are the benefits of eHealth for physicians and patients? Is it a forced burden for physicians or rather a tool that will truly enhance the quality and efficiency of healthcare? What use can we make of the data generated by health practitioners every minute and every second? What is the experience of UK’s National Health Service (NHS) that is one of the most advanced worldwide?
Innovations in medicine
The quality of healthcare given is dependent on the standards set. Since 2014 the Slovak Health Ministry has been promising to draw up national diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines. The work has only started recently. The 25 most common and most expensive diagnoses fall within the first stage. Other guidelines that concern nearly 125 fields of medicine will follow this and next year.
It is one thing to develop standards and it is another to actually apply them in practice. Who will oversee compliance and what technologies could help to apply them?
The magic with data
A hospital can only be managed if all the required information is available to the hospital’s management. That is one reason why hospital information systems are vital. Their potential goes beyond that, however, as they allow for innovations.
Big Data analysis improves patient care and enables objective quality and treatment effectiveness assessment. Moreover, it allows for an effective use of the facilities’ capacities and better health registers. What other technologies can increase healthcare quality?
Integration leads to higher efficiency. Advanced hospital networks worldwide take advantage of their integration. The trend is starting also in Slovakia. What is the experience with integration so far and what lessons can be applied to other types of healthcare facilities? What is the situation in terms of state-owned hospital networking? Will this lead to a single information system?
Technologies and the patient
The omnisapient Dr. Google is not the only consequence of the Internet entering the field of medicine. Digital technologies are changing the healthcare sector for the better and help both patients and health practitioners. How will the patient’s and the physician’s role change in light of this change? What are the benefits and setbacks? Will patient applications replace a significant portion of standard diagnostics? Can this be a solution to the shortage of staff in the healthcare sector?
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