Digital Transformation

Digital Patient Act – Good for Your Health

The fact that patients are frequently forced to sit through unnecessary – duplicated – examinations in Germany is a well-known fact. The lack of a flow of information between doctors is clearly one of the biggest problems in the country’s healthcare system. No matter whether doctors are unable to share data or simply don’t want to: The whole business is expensive, not to mention a health risk. hort time, as a good example of what digitization can do – as a positive force.

E-Files Reduce Workloads and Lower Costs

The Techniker Krankenkasse (health insurance agency) recently calculated the impact of this issue. In Thüringen alone, the agency recorded a growth in CT scans by more than a fifth between 2011 and 2014. By 21.5 percent, to be exact. Right around 200,000 CTs were registered. Have doctors had more than 20 percent more suspicious cases? This would be against all the rules of statistics, the insurance agency found, and speculated that many CTs were duplicate orders. Simply because doctors do not have access to diagnoses and examination results from their colleagues.

Many citizens appear to share their interpretation. It seems almost any patient you speak with has had similar experiences with duplicated examinations – even beyond the X-ray.

A digital patient file would at least correct this problem. We would all be exposed to lower radiation levels. And the financial problems caused by duplicate examinations and other inefficient measures – experts assume these run to multiple billion euros per year unnecessarily charged to contributors – could also stand to be reduced. At least, the pressure to establish medical grounds for duplicate examinations is increasing – nowadays, no one can hide behind the excuse of not receiving X-ray images, laboratory results, or CTs.

We can only hope that the digital patient file is close behind. It can only be beneficial to the healthcare industry – and would obstinately turn all those gloomy predictions into a success story in just a short time, as a good example of what digitization can do – as a positive force.

Mit einer digitalen Krankenakte wäre zumindest dieses Problem beseitigt. Die Menschen würden einer geringeren Strahlenbelastung ausgesetzt. Und das finanzielle Problem, das Doppeluntersuchungen und andere Ineffizienzen verursachen – Experten gehen von mehreren Milliarden Euro im Jahr aus, die Beitragszahler überflüssigerweise berappen müssen – ließe sich ebenfalls abschwächen. Zumindest stiege der Druck, Doppeluntersuchungen medizinisch zu begründen – es könnte sich niemand mehr herausreden, Röntgenbilder, Laborergebnisse oder CTs nicht erhalten zu haben.

Bleibt zu hoffen, dass die digitale Patientenakte bald kommt. Es kann dem Gesundheitswesen nur guttun – und würde allen Unkenrufen zum Trotz wohl schon nach kurzer Zeit zu einer Erfolgsstory und einem guten Beispiel dafür werden, was Digitalisierung bewirken – im positiven Sinne.

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