The three overall priorities in e-health in Europe
The latest European barometer published by HIMSS Analytics summarises what concerns our neighbouring countries have about e-health.
Three overall priorities have emerged about using digital health:
To this ‘top 3’ we could very easily add physicians’ access to information as unsurprisingly, it comes ahead of patients’ access in the responses given by healthcare organisations. At a closer look, we can see that each country’s results naturally mirror how digitally advanced their organisations are and which direction their local health policies lean towards. For instance, using electronic patient records is considered significantly less important in Spain – which already has a high rate of usage – than in Ireland.
This study also tells us what are considered to be the biggest overall challenges: funding, interoperability and patient empowerment, followed closely by the lack of a political strategy and the difficulties faced when using electronic medical records.
If we look at which trends have been deemed essential in the medium term (2 to 3 years), the consensus is for a citizen-controlled electronic patient record.
In general, those who responded expect the greatest changes to be seen in how patients will manage their own health, without neglecting the development of information exchange between professionals themselves.
Overall, the priority is still for everyone involved to use patient records. For healthcare professionals and organisations alike, it is an essential prerequisite without which it will be impossible to develop a comprehensive vision of patient care.