Operate in the dark

Previous surgery, intolerances, drugs with contraindications… A person’s medical history largely determines the treatments that are best suited to them when a new disease presents itself. The patient and the practitioner will then benefit from the most complete overview possible. To trace the possible causes of the troubles. To exclude the use of conflicting drugs. To avoid unnecessary repetition of tests and examinations… In short: because the alternative (read: the current state of things) unnecessarily disadvantages the patient and allows the practitioner to operate in the dark.


Joost Berkers is a urologist, member of the Hageland Urological Association and specializes in minimally invasive and oncological surgery. He would also like to include more available information in his treatment and advice to the patient. “In itself, we already have more information than 10 years ago, certainly also due to the arrival of the central patient file for general practitioners and the eHealth hub. But the eHealth hub is a tricky interface that makes it very difficult to search, for example, for lab reports related to specific information.” To make matters worse, the linguistic border also plays a role in the problem, without malice: “We are close to Wallonia with a certain number of our campuses around Brussels. Reports from doctors on the other side of the linguistic border are very difficult to obtain.”


A centralized and easily searchable digital system such as #1Patient1Record4Belgium envisions would be ideal as far as Joost is concerned. First, because patients and practitioners could quickly access important data and this would therefore directly benefit patients and the quality of care provided to them. But he sees even more advantages to such a digital system. “In clinical studies, this would be an important asset to better organize research.”

Moreover, the government can also make huge profits, he says. “According to the law, we must carefully document all care in the field of oncology per patient. At the moment, everything is still done on paper. I still stamp every week on the forms I get from the secretary.

If this were digitized, the government would be able to get a much better overview much faster, for example on certain diseases which are more frequent in one region than in another. That would really mean a host of efficiencies.

Joost Berkers

As far as I am concerned, I pay some respect to the initiative of #1patient1record4belgium. Support this project!”

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