Nowadays, we are full of potential high-level technology to provide a better service for patients, doctors, and other clinical staff. The huge amount of data that our instruments and devices collect each day will surely give us ample information to better understand a lot of disease or complex clinical conditions, enabling us to save a lot of lives.
However, wehave to remind ourselves that there is still a lot to do in some of the most basic parts of the healthcare.
Without any doubt, anyone should work for the healthcare prevention, especially in Europe; the increase in older people and lack of newborns drives us to an unsustainable social system. In the last ten years, the increase in the share of the population aged 65 years or over, in Italy, has been 2.2 percent (Eurostat Data). If it’s almost impossible for a healthcare provider to change this demographic trend, it’s a moral duty to create a prevention journey, build for every patient and based on his personal and family medical history. At Centro Medico Santagostino, we are developing a software solution that will help every doctor to prescribe specific exams for each patient to identify possible threats in advance, before they get worst creating chronical issues or need for hospitalization. But the prevention also pass through social media, through simple and funny infographics that we install in every clinic to make the patients aware that a healthy diet, fitness, and quitting bad habits like smoking and alcohol, their lives can be so much better, especially in the future.
Another ‘must-have’ is the right approx regarding the sharing of the healthcare data. A few weeks ago a dentist told me about a very old patient. She was over 80 and needed a little surgery, but she was not able to remember almost her entire clinical history, also she didn’t have any documents with her. That means a lot of costs for anyone, the patient was sent to other departments to rebuild her full clinical history before an eventual surgery, while other patients could have booked that spot in the dentist agenda. There’s also a strict connection for the ‘prevention must’, what will happen if unfortunately that old lady needs a surgery in an emergency situation? How much different can the situation be for a doctor that has to make a crucial decision with a full set of clinical information or without them? Every healthcare provider should think about it and should build an infrastructure capable of sending and receiveing those information in case of necessity. In the banking and payment systems we have a use case of different providers that can talk the same language, even between different countries and values, so at Santagostino when we build or develop a new product for patients, we ask ourselves if it will be ready to share or receive information from other parts to provide a better healthcare coverage for our patients.
“Every patient must have a complete vision through his data, who is using it and why, and the healthcare providers must work to protect that data, especially when working with doctors and clinical staff”
Finally, the third ‘must-have’, even if it’s a little obvious, is the protection of the data. Every patient must have a complete vision through his data, who is using it and why, and the healthcare providers must work to protect that data, especially when working with doctors and clinical staff; if in the past there was a distance between the doctor who ‘create’ the information during the visit, and the ICT (or the administrative staff) who archive the data, the latest threats are trying to still or damage the information in every part of the process, so anyone must be aware of their importance in the security process.
So those are the three must for every Technology process at Centro Medico Santagostino that involve clinical :
Does it go in the prevention way?
In cases of necessity, will the patients and the other certified provider have access to all of the collected data?
Are the patient’s data completely safe and all of the stakeholders of the process are completely aware of their relevance in the security process?
We strongly believe that this approach through the years will be one of our winning point in comparison to our competitors and must of all at the attention of our patients.
Courtney Fisher-Lewis, Associate CIO, Saint Luke’s Health System & Ex-Sr. Director, IS Program Management, Children’s Mercy Hospital David Chou, SVP & CIO, Harris Health System & Ex-Chief Information & Digital Officer, Children’s Mercy Hospital