How important is rapid access to patient data for the
modern-day healthcare professional and institution?
BA: It’s critical. Due to chronic disease and an ageing population, demand for healthcare, and ever more complex
healthcare, is rising. At the same time, the percentage of
GDP dedicated to healthcare stays the same, while reimbursements are going down – so there’s less money to provide this care – and fewer specialists to administer it.
We need to improve the efficiency and productivity of these vital
staff, by providing them with better access to patient data – within one web-click.
What are some of the technologies that are helping improve
access to patient data?
KS: Here at UZA, we’re involved
in a large project to make all patient data available in one application. We have installed four
vendor neutral archives (VNAs)
from GE Healthcare to help us do this. With the help of a
cross-enterprise document sharing platform (XDS), also
from GE Healthcare, we can now see all patient documents
in one view.
What are some of the positive benefits of rapid access to
patient data for the patient, healthcare professionals and
the healthcare organisation as a whole?
KS: The first benefit is for the patient, because the doctor can find the right information in the minimum time and
hence can spend more time with him or her. It also means a
more intelligent decision or diagnosis.
BA: Rapid access to data can also improve clinical
collaboration. This is particularly important for patients
with complex chronic conditions, who have typically been
referred from department to department and from hospital
to hospital as part of the care pathway. Consolidation of
all patient data reduces the
need to physically move
the patient, because more
decisions and diagnoses can
be made remotely.
Can this, in turn have
positive effects on quality
KS: Since we installed the
VNA, more departments are
uploading their documents to
the system, so there is more
information available to clinicians and they can make more
informed decisions. This can only improve patient care.
Have you any figures that show how the technology
has benefitted both the patients and healthcare
KS: The storage we have to foresee for imaging and documents at UZA is increasing almost exponentially and clinical
staff are using it more and more, because it’s easier to access, to upload and they can even access it now via secure
login from home. Many clinicians are also saying they have
more time for their patients.
BA: Our studies show that VNA and similar tools help to
save 20-30 per cent of clinician time by making all data accessible in one click, as opposed to chasing one or more
different departments for patient data. There’s no mystery,
no magic in all of this … as a clinician, with VNA technology,
you have access to all patient data – via your tablet – at the
bedside – where an internet connection is available.
Katleen Smedts, Project Manager ICT at University Hospital Antwerp (UZA) and Bernard Algayres, GM Radiology
IT EMEA, GE Healthcare, discuss how vendor neutral archiving can improve access to patient data, facilitate clinical
collaboration and drive up quality of care.
There’s no mystery, no magic …
you can access all patient data at the bedside
Katleen Smedts, UZA
Bernard Algayres, GE Healthcare
Healthcare organisations these days have more data
available than ever before. What are the challenges of
Healthcare organisations are confronted with the challenge
to manage and share a growing volume of data in order to
deliver a better quality of care. At the same time, the pressure
to be cost-effective is increasing. Dealing with large amounts
of data also requires having effective policies in place that
address data integrity and data security. And, finally, technology is an issue: Healthcare organisations are reluctant to
spend a lot of money upfront for IT solutions that might turn
out to not meet the demand a year later.
How can cloud services help in this context?
Cloud services give convincing answers to many of the challenges just mentioned. By outsourcing imaging archives or
certain infrastructures, for example, healthcare IT departments are disburdened from tasks that are not their core
competence, like archiving or providing secure access.
Cloud services enable new approaches to manage and work
with IT solutions, and they also shift at least some of the
risks to the provider. Last but not least: Cloud based services
greatly facilitate a collaborative approach to medical care in
regional care networks.
GE is launching its GE Cloud Services at the World of
Health IT (WoHIT) in Dublin in May. What kind of services
will be on offer?
We offer both public and private cloud services, from managing backups or cloud based data archiving to running
full-blown cloud-based healthcare IT systems. GE Cloud
Services can be used with both, local customer-owned infrastructure and off-site data centres. They may include our
latest Vendor Neutral Archive. A general feature that we offer to all our cloud customers is the pay-per-study business
model. This helps customers to stay in control of their IT
costs. Speciality-wise we tend to focus on radiology. But we
also see a clear trend towards cloud services in cardiology.
Europe is not homogenous. What uptake of the GE Cloud
Services do you expect in the different European markets?
The UK is probably the market for us with the biggest potential at the moment. There are various NHS trusts that have
requested GE Cloud Services already. In France, we have
recently implemented the first fully cloud based PACS installation in Paris as part of the RSF (Région sans Film) project.
We have started one project in Spain recently, and there are
others in Denmark and Sweden. Germany is a bit behind with
Cloud Services, as the structure of its healthcare system is
different. Overall, we see a clear trend towards cloud based
radiology more or less all over Europe. So it is certainly the
right time to offer our new GE Cloud Services now.
Mr Berlis, thank you very much for the interview. (HTW)
Cloud-based services can help healthcare organisations to provide access to data securely and cost-effectively.
GE Healthcare is launching its cloud-based services portfolio for Europe at the World of Health IT (WoHIT) in
Dublin. Achim Berlis, General Manager, GE Healthcare IT Services Europe, knows why.
+ 49 7348 9861 192
“We see a clear trend towards
cloud services in radiology”
Achim Berlis, General Manager,
GE Healthcare I T Services Europe
GE Healthcare IT Marketing Europe
+ 49 7348 9861 100