In hospital: patient records still incomplete

Hospitals are among the leading producers of healthcare data. Electronic patient records (EPRs) in France have reached a digital maturity rate of 60 to 70%. The 2018 Atlas HIS shows that EPRs have been computerised in some 7 out of 10 health organisations, and states that it is engaged in 26% more. But EPRs are […]

Hospitals are among the leading producers of healthcare data. Electronic patient records (EPRs) in France have reached a digital maturity rate of 60 to 70%. The 2018 Atlas HIS shows that EPRs have been computerised in some 7 out of 10 health organisations, and states that it is engaged in 26% more.

But EPRs are still incomplete as prescriptions and test results do not always ap­pear in them.

The most often integrated type of data : biological results and drug prescriptions 

Biological results and drug prescriptions are the most often integrated type of data: two thirds of facilities have computerised all of their biological results, while 71% have ended up computerising their drug prescriptions. Conversely, only 42% have integrated imaging results into EPRs (26% have said they are currently doing so).

 However, Atlas 2018 observes that the development of imaging IT systems is more than 80% complete on average; computerising biological laboratories is a reality in 90% of healthcare organisations.

A real challenge for intra-hospital interoperability

Depending on the scale of its activities, one hospital can have anything from 40 to 350 different applications which is a real challenge for intra-hospital interoperability. In addition, the sof­tware market is still highly fragmented: the Relims observatory counted 317 companies in 2018 (16 more than in 2017) which were marketing 864 sof­tware programs (24 more in one year).

However, the number has tended to accelerate with the recent in­crease of mergers and acquisitions by different companies in the sector.

 The challenge of inter-institutional IT systems matching up within re­gions is no less difficult when we know that each business field and/or me­dical speciality can have between 30 to 40 different software programs.

 More often than not, medical re­cords have several software packages grouped into one as specialty files use specific software that isn’t the same as ones used in EPRs. For example, there are 31 applications in intensive care units, 45 in anaesthesia and 46 for transfusion records.

If we add emergencies and prescription management to the mix, we can see that putting all these different components together requires some expertise!