In this article you will read about,
- why the German healthcare system should focus on digital innovations,
- what opportunities and obstacles exist when it comes to the digitalization of the industry and the use of new technologies,
- and why the Open Telekom Cloud is the right partner for German healthcare bodies.
Electronic patient files, e-prescriptions, a national health portal, and a personalized patient portal – Denmark is an e-health role model. According to the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Digital Health Index, the country ranks third behind Estonia and Canada. Among other things, this is because the Danes have a high level of trust in the state and their healthcare system and a positive attitude toward digital services. What's more, the Scandinavians adopted their first national e-health strategy back in 1999. The state-funded digital health agency MedCom, which operates between the state, regions, and municipalities, has even been in existence since 1994.
In Germany, on the other hand, the digitalization of the healthcare system is progressing more slowly. According to the index, Germany ranks 16th in the comparison of countries. One of the reasons: There is a lack of an overall national strategy. German hospital law, for example, is a matter for the individual federal states, and the approach to and progress in digitizing facilities are correspondingly heterogeneous. In early summer, Bavaria laid an important foundation for the use of digital health services by amending its hospital law. The state has liberalized IT outsourcing for its hospitals and paved the way for facilities to move into the public cloud. This offers numerous new opportunities for hospitals and their operators. That is because, in the future, they will also be allowed to have patient data that is not solely used for administrative purposes stored and processed by external service providers. In the past, this was only permitted in the hospital's own data center or at other hospitals. Accordingly, the facilities had to operate an internal IT infrastructure – something that entails high costs and personnel expenditure.
Another difficulty for the hospitals is the fact that more and more providers are now making modern applications or software updates for existing solutions available exclusively as public cloud offerings. Hospitals often could not use these at all or could only use outdated versions. "This is fatal for the healthcare system. Many solutions in hospital operations or in facilities for outpatient care are now out of date. The industry is in urgent need of digital innovations and has to update the entire basis with a modern, efficient infrastructure," says Arndt Bleckmann, Customer Success Manager for the healthcare industry at Open Telekom Cloud. For example, in order to be able to relieve doctors and nursing staff and deploy them more efficiently, reduce costs, simplify processes, and reduce the bureaucratic burden on employees. "Cloud services provide a secure, future-proof basis for modern e-health solutions that do all this."