Thursday, October 31, 2013

HIMSS Europe 2013 Amsterdam - Plenary Session: “Patient Safety and IT”

Vesseur indicated that IT can be both beneficial to patient safety but also a hazard. Two of the top ten health technology hazards as reported by the ECRI are IT related (numbers 4 and 5). Patient safety is compromized when information in healthcare is not available, lacks integrity, or is not confidential. Information has to be safe and information exchange has to be safe. Important in these issues is compliance to standards like ISO/IEC 27001 or NEN 7510. 

Vesseur stated in his conclusion that IT will not automatically solve these problems but an approach is required that also involves the healthcare professional, the standards organisation, and hospital management.

Marinka de Jong-Fintelman presented on patient empowerment which, according to her is not possible without patient enabling. She showed that patients have to be an active partner in their own healthcare. Using an illustration by a personal experience story, she clearly demonstrated that currently the patient is not empowered and definitely not in control of their healthcare process resulting in many problems with respect to work and social activities and causing much stress and waiting. She recommends to make patients more aware of the possibilities of eHealth and have the ability to digitally access their records. Nictiz has a platform patient & eHealth to improve the patient empowerment. The platform provides a lot of information on how to develop and implement eHealth through their website (in Dutch). 

Plenary Session: “Patient Safety and IT”

Moderator: Michiel Sprenger
Jan Vesseur, Chief Inspector Patient Safety and Health IT, Dutch Health Care Inspectorate (IGZ), The Netherlands
Marinka de Jong-Fintelman, Program Manager Patient and Self Management, NICTIZ

The assumption is that IT contributes to the quality and the safety of health care. The delivery of care should have profits through the use of IT. The availability, the accuracy of information gains enormous with the help of IT. No one will ignore that. But there is another point of view. IT can also threat the quality and safety of health care. When information and the technology that handles information is not safe, it can harm the patient or even causes his death. The Dutch Health Care Inspectorate (IGZ) received several examples of failing information and failing IT with harm to the patient. For that reason IGZ started investigations in hospitals about the way they secure the patient information along the directives from the information security standards. Beside that they looked at the contribution of IT to information exchange. The conclusions were that IT does not contribute to the solving of the problems in information exchange as long as there will be different systems and different standards. IGZ asked for more standardization. New developments are the EU directive MEDDEV 2.1/6 about the software as a medical device and the way the IGZ will use this directive and the way electronic prescription of medication will be enforced. The aim of IGZ is that patient safety and IT are friends.

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