The Future of Public Health
The classic consultation sheet system is exceeded, whether or not the forensic document is still necessary for archiving, according to the legislation in force. The health system’s lack of computerization has more and more visible effects, impacting on patients, medical act and internal operational costs:
- Over 10% of the requested laboratory analysis are lost or not communicated on time;
- Over 10-15% of the radiological investigations outcomes are sent too late, right after the therapeutic decision has been made;
- 5% of the investigations are unnecessarily repeated;
- 1% of the medical documents are physically lost every year.
The low speed of data transmission, the loss of laboratory analysis and their outcomes, the reduced accessibility to information and large delays for radiological investigations, the unnecessary repetitions of some analysis and the loss of medical documents push medical institutions, either public or private, towards process computerization.
However, this step is not an easy one at all. Since the activity of a hospital has the most complex operating system in the medical field, the computerization and automation of workflow cannot be treated as a series of point solutions or connected computers that treat individually and heterogeneously the clients’ medical data. Moreover, less than 30% out of 450 hospitals and sanatoriums have a certain computerization level and, out of these, less than 20% have integrated software platforms.
An integrated software system at Romanian public health level can be defined through the projection, development and implementation of a computer system which is specialized on two different business directions: an economic direction, with the purpose of determining and streamlining real costs per patient, impacting on the correct construction and administration of the budgets, and a medical direction, which is a much more complex one, with the purpose of ensuring the patients traceability between local medical institutions and with a perfect visibility on the patient sheet, past illnesses, treatments and current medications, allergies or other complications.
Such an integrated software system is adjusted to the Romanian sanitary system budgetary restraints, DRG requirements and SIUI reporting, thus allowing the highlighting of average costs per patient, section, physician, or any other medical entity, and also interfaces with medical devices. These are only a few advantages incurred by the system, without overlooking the decisional support provided by the direct access to information, without system redundancies, complex reporting and audit mechanisms, increasing working productivity, control and optimal resource allocation.
With the help of a computer system, based on the patient history and analysis outcome, the physician may recommend the type and the dose for necessary medicines, and can also be alerted on certain chemicals causing allergies to patients. The patient history has led to the creation of a unique patient file. Its electronic form proves to be now a major instrument in supporting the patients, identification of main health problems and making decisions regarding patients’ medical situation.
The investment in such an integrated software system is recovered rapidly due to the access to a complete and automatically assembled image of the activities and resources used. The possibility to set online appointments and consultations and the correct and on time information on investigations outcomes via Internet will lead to a decrease of operational costs, as well as to an increase of customer loyalty. The medical laboratories may integrate their analyzers directly with the operating system, eliminating idle time and providing access to laboratory outcomes at any time and place.
Such an integrated operating system, implemented in all Romanian medical institutions and in accordance with the European Union requirements and standards for the increase of electronic public services efficiency, will allow both Romanian citizens who run EU territory, and physicians to have access to their health files whenever, wherever the need arises.