On the occasion of the launch of the findings of the annual Trends Map and the seminar held on 14 March at the Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona to present the results to the health sector, I spoke to Imma Bosch, Head of the eSalut [eHealth] Office, regarding the report’s findings and the current state of IT Systems. The following are some reflections and notes on the steps to be taken by the Ministry of Health’s Coordinació General de les TIC [IT Office].HC3 currently has 43 million active publications registered in it. Given Catalonia’s population, what’s your opinion of this figure?
It’s really good number from the point of view of integrated care in a public healthcare system. Few countries can say they share data with all the healthcare providers in their system. If we consider that the providers all use different IT Systems -as in the majority of European healthcare systems- and that the sharing of information takes place with all forms of healthcare (primary care, hospitals, social healthcare and mental health) it’s a healthy figure.
What’s more, we’ve also begun sharing social welfare data originating from city councils. We’ve learnt from the experiences of other countries which have partial sharing within integrated health organizations but which don’t share data between all their healthcare providers, and even less so, with all the forms of healthcare within the system. Not with social healthcare either.
Nevertheless, we must steadily increase the collection of structured data.
According to the Trends Map survey, 60% of Provider Entities access HC3 via the doctor’s viewer and upload data to clinical workstations via the Web Service.
The remaining 40% access data via the doctor’s HC3 viewer.
The fact is that the majority of providers make use of the HC3 Web Service which allows them to display the data in an integrated manner on their own clinical workstation. This means that doctors don’t have to consult information via the HC3 viewer, and that health information generated by other healthcare providers is uploaded to their own clinical workstations. Thus integrated patient care in healthcare processes is possible. We need to keep working in order that the information ends up in a single repository of information and that it can be consulted and exploited in an integrated way.
The new Electronic Health History (EHH) project, the result of the merger of HC3 and ECAP, is where all the information in the field of Primary Care and the other forms of care will reside.
We need to create a common strategy involving the Ministry of Work, Social Affairs and Families and the Ministry of Health in order to prioritize integrated healthcare. It’s really important that there’s a jointly-defined strategy in order that we can progress faster and are able to overcome any possible technical difficulties involving integration such as the compatibility between the various IT Systems.
Although right now, all the Specialist and Primary Care providers are connected to the IS3 platform, we ought to work on increasing the number of electronic referrals for all healthcare specialties. The goal is for patients who need to visit a specialist to be able to leave their GP’s surgery with the day and time of a hospital visit. There’s still a lot of room for improvement.
It’s not a bad figure. The fact is that nearly 5,000 doctors use it, and in order to improve it, we need to develop La Meva Salut [My Health] and ensure access is easier. The Econsulta service depends on access to My Health and we need to increase its accessibility.
The service is developing in a positive manner. An average of 50 new doctors and around 500 new patients sign up every week. We need to improve communication with the public, which means it would be a good idea for CatSalut to develop its communication strategy: appointment spaces, change-management for doctors and access to My Health.
It’s an additional channel for doctor-patient communication which we offer as part of the healthcare system which allows doctors to make better use of the management of their appointments. It provides security and comfort.
That’s right, there are 450,000 users. Of these, 40,000 members of the public use it regularly (unique ID accesses per month). Recently we’ve taken steps to improve the usability of My Health, such as allowing minors access to their data and the release of an app for iOS and Android.
In spite of the ease of access to the app, it requires two-step verification of the user’s data. We are currently speaking to APDCAT and CESICAT to find ways to make it easier for the public to access My Health while fulfilling the necessary security measures.
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