9 – 11 April 2011, Berlin, Germany.
For years hospitals have been forced by cost-saving pressures to improve their internal processes to ensure they remain competitive. Not all options have been exploited yet. Multidimensional resource management can not only improve efficiency, but can also benefit the patient. At conhIT 2013 providers and users will be discussing the IT demands on modern hospital resource management as well as the obstacles that still stand in the way of solutions for the entire hospital sector.
A glance at the operating schedules is the easiest way to find out what modern hospital resource management can achieve. “A lot has been accomplished in recent years,” says Angelika Händel of Universitätsklinikum Erlangen. “In many hospitals nowadays, the employees involved can find out at any time about the operating schedule, operation details and when to bring in the next patient.” Even ordering operating materials and work schedules are unimaginable without using IT.
The fact that operating theatres are at the forefront of IT-assisted resource management hardly comes as a surprise: “An empty operating theatre costs several thousand euros every hour. At a time when economically speaking many hospitals are barely viable that is something they do not want to afford,” says Dr. Christoph Seidel, CIO, Klinikum Braunschweig. Together with Angelika Händel, a board member of Deutscher Verband Medizinischer Dokumentare (DVMD), Seidel, who is also director of the Competence Center for the Electronic Signature in Healthcare (CCESigG), will be chairing a Congress session on resource management at conhIT 2013.
Multidimensional resource management maximises benefits
Proper planning of resources has the potential to improve efficiency outside of the operating theatre as well. To date, however, hardly any steps have been taken in this direction. “Generally speaking, one can say that IT-assisted resource management works well in cases in which a hospital information system’s task is to assign a job, for example an X-ray examination.” Extra medical information is then provided for this job and combined with an order for transporting a patient. In many hospitals that is an efficient and automated process.
However, when the necessity arises to organise complex, IT-assisted planning processes many hospitals quickly reach their limits. “As soon as several planning factors have to be considered at the same time, which may also involve different departments, things become difficult. Most IT systems are incapable of handling such a multi-layered approach,” says Händel.
There are many examples that bear this out. At the top of the wishlist of many CIOs is a hospital-wide appointments management system. That would require drawing on data from completely different systems, inconceivable in a normal work situation, especially if the relevant systems are not from the same company. “HL7 represents an excellent communication standard for the hospital sector. What we do not have are cross-sectoral standards for resource management,” says Seidel.
Efficiency is in the patient’s interest too
The industry is aware of these deficits, as Andreas Kassner of the German Association of Healthcare IT Vendors (bvitg) points out: “The complex nature of day-to-day work in hospitals means that in many cases human beings still act as an interface. That is why there is definitely a need for standardisation. Hospitals should enter into a dialogue with manufacturers and offer concrete suggestions for improvements.”
What is clear is that efficient hospital resource management not only saves money but eases nerves as well. “Good resource planning should mean that patients do not have to wait all day for an operation or to stand around for ever in the emergency waiting room,” says Händel. A hospital might not be a car factory. “But with the help of IT and within certain limits it should be feasible to organise what would otherwise be impossible.”
More on this subject at conhIT 2013
On Thursday, 10 April 2013 at conhIT, experts taking part in the Congress Session no. 7 (Resource management) will be holding several lectures on their latest experiences of how hospitals work in practice. Resident practitioners and patients can also benefit from instruments that optimise day-to-day processes, for example online appointments systems. Also on 10 April 2013, the conhIT Forum “Focus on online services – from doctors for patients” will also be examining this topic. Anyone wishing to find out more ahead of conhIT about the products and services relevant to this subject can find the exhibitors in question in the conhIT Virtual Market Place and can already book an appointment at the Industrial Fair.
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About conhIT – Connecting Healthcare IT
conhIT targets decision-makers in IT departments, management, in the medical profession, nursing, doctors, doctors’ networks and medical care centres who need to find out about the latest developments in IT and healthcare, meet members of the industry and make use of opportunities for high-level advanced training. As an integrated event, over a period of three days conhIT combines an Industrial Fair, a Congress and Networking Events which are of particular interest to this sector. Launched in 2008 by the German Association of Healthcare IT Vendors (bvitg) as the meeting place for the healthcare IT industry and organised by Messe Berlin, this event recently recorded 270 exhibitors and 5,300 visitors and has now become Europe’s leading event for the healthcare IT sector.
conhIT 2013 is organised in cooperation with the following industry associations: the German Association of Healthcare IT Vendors (bvitg), the German Association for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (GMDS), the German Association of Medical Computer Scientists (BVMI). The National Association of Hospital IT Managers (KH-IT) and the Working Group of Directors of Medical Computing Centres at German University Clinics (ALKRZ) have provided contributions to the subject matter.
Source: conhIT Pressemitteilungen