E-health: The latest European barometer

The three overall priorities in e-health in Europe The latest European barometer published by HIMSS Analytics sum­marises what concerns our neighbouring countries have about e-health. Three overall priorities have emerged about using digital health: To this ‘top 3’ we could very easily add physicians’ access to information as unsurprisingly, it comes ahead of patients’ ac­cess […]

The three overall priorities in e-health in Europe

The latest European barometer published by HIMSS Analytics sum­marises what concerns our neighbouring countries have about e-health.

Three overall priorities have emerged about using digital health:

To this ‘top 3’ we could very easily add physicians’ access to information as unsurprisingly, it comes ahead of patients’ ac­cess in the responses given by healthcare orga­nisations. At a closer look, we can see that each country’s results naturally mirror how digitally advanced their organisations are and which di­rection their local health policies lean towards. For instance, using electronic patient records is considered significantly less important in Spain – which already has a high rate of usage – than in Ireland.

This study also tells us what are consi­dered to be the biggest overall challen­ges: funding, interoperability and pa­tient empowerment, followed closely by the lack of a political strategy and the difficulties faced when using electronic medical records.

If we look at which trends have been deemed essential in the medium term (2 to 3 years), the consensus is for a citizen-controlled electronic patient record.

In general, those who responded expect the greatest changes to be seen in how patients will manage their own health, without neglecting the development of information exchange between profes­sionals themselves.

Overall, the priority is still for everyone involved to use patient records. For healthcare professionals and organisations alike, it is an essential prerequisite without which it will be impossible to develop a comprehensive vision of patient care.