Chronic patients: Reclaim your body!

Optimal care of chronically ill patients requires proper access to individual patient data and a user-friendly disease management infrastructure that puts the patient at the centre of care. The Danish Shared Medication Record and the European Renewing Health Project take ICT-assisted chronic care seriously.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - (HealthTech Wire / News) - “In Denmark, we are now performing the shift from an offline to an online healthcare system”, said Ivan Lund Pedersen, Liaison Officer at the Danish National Board of eHealth. Currently, electronic documents in the already highly digitized Danish healthcare system are predominantly sent via network from one institution to another. Now, the host country of this year’s eHealth Week plans to gradually replace “sending data” by “sharing data”.

Story Highlights
  • Danish SMR and European Renewing Health Project to focus on ICT-assisted chronic care
  • SMR gives access to a patient’s medication list for doctors and the patients
  • “Six months after the start of the project, there are 7,000 patients and 5,000 healthcare providers accessing the medication data each week.”

Introduction of a Shared Medical Record (SMR)

The first step was the introduction of a Shared Medical Record (SMR) half a year ago. The SMR gives access to a patient’s medication list both for doctors and the patients. Most hospitals and a number of general practitioners are already connected to the SMR. “Six months after the start of the project, there are 7,000 patients and 5,000 healthcare providers accessing the medication data each week”, said Pedersen.

Shared access to medication data is beneficial for chronically ill patients since consolidated documentation is unambiguous, easy to communicate, and less prone to errors. It will also make life easier for medical professionals, Pedersen is convinced. “When fully implemented, it will save time and make it far easier to get a quick patient overview.”
Digitization of health data empowers the patient

ICT solutions can facilitate disease monitoring

Another aspect of chronic care is continuous monitoring that is necessary in an increasing number of diseases like, for example, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic lung disease. ICT solutions can facilitate disease monitoring both for patients and doctors. With funding from the European Commission, the European Renewing Health Project is currently assessing clinical and patient perspectives on telemedicine and telemonitoring.

“It is a multinational randomized controlled trial that involves 7,900 patients all over Europe”, said George E. Dafoulas, Renewing Health Coordinator in the Greek subproject. The objective is to clarify organizational aspects, technological challenges, and cost-effectiveness issues in different healthcare systems.

From a patient perspective, Anders Olauson, the President of the European Patient’s Forum, welcomed both the SMR project and the Renewing Health project. “We really look forward to the final findings of the Renewing Health project in particular.” For him there is no alternative to digitization of chronic care. “Patients will be increasingly responsible for managing their own condition. And one way to reach this is to provide as much information as we can in a way that is meaningful to them. Paper-based records have always limited the ability of patients to access their health data. We would like to reclaim our bodies now!”

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Source: HealthTech Wire

Published in GoDirect / Newspartner

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