The healthcare system is moving to a new level of development. The real breakthrough in this process was the introduction of eHealth system, which will unite all sectors of health care into a single information space. Since, primary health care institutions have joined the system.
Secondary and tertiary level institutions are next in line. eHealth is a system that aims at improving the quality of health care provided to the population. The software product will also make it possible to implement the main principle of the medical reform – “the money goes to the patient”.
What is eHealth
Digitization of the health system is a logical step in its development. The eHealth system is a public information and telecommunication system designed to automate the recording of medical services and to manage medical information in digital form. The system integrates different branches of health care – medical practice, hospital management, medical law, pharmaceuticals and patient information services.
To better understand eHealth, the concept should be divided into two principal areas.
- Special information technologies and products used in professional environment: doctors, pharmacists, specialized public servants and heads of medical institutions
- Services for patients that increase the availability of medical services
Specialty eHealth products can be referred to:
- information systems: medical and laboratory
- Programs for accounting: pharmaceutical, personnel, etc.
- telemedicine software
That is, all IT solutions, the key task of which is to automate the work of specialists in the narrow sphere of professional activity.
Such products have already been adopted by many private clinics in the country. They have introduced medical information systems (MIS), which allow to effectively manage all the processes of a medical institution. MIS significantly simplifies the work of physicians, automates routine tasks and allows doctors to focus on direct tasks – diagnosis and treatment of patients.
In order to raise the patient’s medical history, the doctor does not need to find the necessary information in the archives, he can find it in the system in just a few clicks. The electronic patient card stored in the system contains all the necessary data – anamnesis, previous diagnoses, prescribed medications, results of laboratory tests, information on allergies and contraindications, and more.
Patients of such commercial medical institutions have also experienced all the benefits of electronic health care. They do not need to retell their entire medical history every time they see a specialist, nor do they need to keep their certificates, test results and doctor’s reports on paper – all of which they can see in the system’s private office. Also, the patient no longer has to wait their turn under the specialist’s office, as the appointment is held at a clearly defined time.
Information services for patients, using which citizens can remotely find out the current schedule of a particular specialist, get necessary information about the clinic and read the feedback of other patients on the quality of treatment – an important component of E-Health.
There is another important area of professional use of E-Health – health management at the level of the state and, in particular, at the level of the Ministry of Health.
How eHealth works and how to register in it
Structurally, eHealth system consists of a central component and software products connected to it – MIS, mobile services for patients. The central component of eHealth MOH is a kind of central database, which is the main link that accumulates all information from all medical institutions of the country. It also solves problems of registration and accounting of medical institutions, doctors, contracts for provision of medical services by family doctors.
Different medical information systems are already connected to the central component of eHealth at the local level – outpatient clinics, primary health care centers, etc. All medical facilities, regardless of their form of ownership and type of management, which will provide services to patients for the budget funds, are required to register with the central component of eHealth and to report on the volumes of medical care provided and be responsible for its quality.
As we have already noted, eHealth is a tool that will allow to implement the main principle of health care reform – “money follows patient”. The system accumulates and processes information about the activities of medical institutions funded from the state and local budgets, keeps records of services provided. This information will make the financing process more objective and transparent in the future.
All medical institutions, regardless of their form of ownership and type of management, which will provide services to patients for the budget funds, are obliged to register in the central component of the eHealth and to report on the volumes of provided medical care and be responsible for its quality.
Implementation of eHealth: first results
The electronic registration of patients and the electronic patient card are already working here, and the queues at the polyclinics have completely disappeared: the city residents can make an appointment to see doctors via the Internet.
The eHealth service package significantly improves the quality of medical care results and patient satisfaction. And it is very important that such services are available to patients not only in commercial hospitals, but also in community outpatient clinics and polyclinics.
eHealth aims to obtain reliable information about the number of patients served by a family doctor, and modern information technologies can reduce and virtually eliminate the possibility of distortion and falsification of patient data observed by a doctor.