Change is needed. There’s no question about that. And ideally, we’d like it to happen now, but that’s not how it works. Leo Exter, founder of Hack Belgium Labs, said in another article that not everyone is aligned with the notion of change yet. So can we sit back and wait for the next generation to take action? Anything but.
A glimpse of the future
In 30 years, the hospital will be completely different from the one we know today. The hospital of the future will know no boundaries. Treatment will no longer be bed-centered, but patient-centered. What does this mean? Patients will be cared for where they feel most comfortable, where the best treatment can be delivered and in an environment that promotes healing and well-being.
But before that can happen, communication, connectivity and data availability are necessary. All data about the patient.
The patient must have the data necessary for their treatment, and this is true whether they are attached to a (health care) facility, their home, or any other location.
Change requires political thought and long-term commitment. We need legislation that evolves, even if different political groups govern.
Right now, hospitals are already looking at ways to collaborate more effectively. But because each hospital has its own set of preferred software and tools, this creates problems. The solution? A unified medical record, instead of trying to change the electronic patient record (EPR) – which involves a lot of risk, cost and time.
It would be interesting to implement a phased, controlled solution for the unified medical record, moving to a consensus-based, integrated solution for all parties. Policy and technology are necessary, but that’s not all.
We are already on our way to the hospital of the future, but there are still many gaps to fill. Our task as the #1Patient1Record4Belgium movement is to explain all aspects of the problem, to make the challenges debatable, to discuss them and to provide ideas for solutions and improvements.
The most important thing we need is data. More structured and unified data. To cure diseases and to improve the quality of health care. It’s not just the doctor examining the patient who needs data, the pharmaceutical industry also needs it to produce new drugs. Once produced, we need clinical trials.
It is clear that it is not only the patient who benefits from the availability of data, but the whole of humanity. Legislation is needed to protect the patient, data platforms are needed to process the data, ML/AI to process it and present it as usable results.
Read also: How do you protect data if you don’t know where it is?
Our mission? To put (positive) pressure on the key players who shape the laws, but also on the people who create the software, on the doctors, professors, nurses and others involved in healthcare. Change must start today. Join the community.