Data has become a critical component of modern healthcare. The availability of patient data is crucial to providing quality care, managing patient privacy and safety, and promoting patient engagement. Yet, the accessibility of medical data across the healthcare system is hampered by data silos and lack of interoperability between healthcare systems.
What will a hospital look like in the future? According to Isabelle Francois, CEO of Health House, the answer is clear: It will be an integrated health entity that collaborates with general practitioners and home care providers to provide the best possible help where the patient feels most comfortable. This will require a single, centralized access to medical data.
Why does this provide an advantage?
Dominique Duhayon, CEO of Masana, also believes that it is necessary for all information to be relevant. On a personal note, he explains that his elderly father needs about eight different applications to gather his medical information. In addition, there are no specific rules in Belgium about data sharing. There is no direct contact between the different organizations. And that’s while every patient and healthcare provider should have a clear overview.
By having quick access to all medical data of a patient, healthcare providers can provide better help and even save lives.
The importance of a centralized system
We must strive for centralized access, where data from multiple sources – hospitals, general practitioners, patients and their relatives – can be integrated.
To make the system more affordable and healthcare more efficient, we must not only better connect the patient and the physician, but also make the entire ecosystem communicate better. Real and effective information sharing is needed.
The most important benefits
The need for centralized access to all medical data is obvious. The system offers many advantages. Below are the 6 most important advantages.
1. Improved patient care
Healthcare providers can make better decisions if they have a comprehensive view of the patient’s health. This improves patient outcomes and reduces the risk of adverse events.
2. The risk of medical errors is reduced
Such a system will improve communication and coordination between healthcare providers, thereby reducing the risk of medical errors.
Read also: How to be considered a total stranger by the hospital where you are known?
3. Stronger patient engagement
Authorized access to patient data can also help improve patient engagement. Simply give the patient more control over their health information. They can view this data themselves, verify its accuracy and share it with healthcare providers whenever they want.
Read also: Privacy: how do you protect data if you don’t know where it is?
4. Cost reduction
Such a system will reduce redundant procedures and examinations. The time needed to treat a patient decreases, as does the likelihood of potential errors/contradictions. The result is improved efficiency and reduced costs. Finally, the patient’s trust in the treating physician(s) will be enhanced.
5. Interoperable systems and standards
By using standards, centralized access to medical data ensures interoperability. Perhaps most important for success: existing systems do not need to be changed or replaced, only communicated with effectively and directly.
6. Improved research
Centralized access to medical data can improve medical research because researchers will have access to more data. Researchers will have access to more data, which can lead to new ideas and discoveries that can improve patient care.
The benefits alone make the case for such a system. The need is there. It’s time to take the next step. We have written a roadmap showing the route to take. It contains three more necessary steps. You can read it here.