BLOG: Integrated clinical history for better patient care

In a new blog, Miquel Soler, Director of IT Services, Ricoh Spain, looks at the different ways technology can improve service workflows and outcomes for patients.

By
Miquel
Soler

It has been more than 10 years since large technology companies began focusing on developing solutions for healthcare, one of the sectors with the greatest impact on our society. The health business is in a transition phase with two main lines of work.

On the one hand, there is personalised medicine focused on performing predictive diagnosis, with simulators based on patient, environmental and behavioural data. On the other hand, there is integrated care. This is about empowering the patient and giving them – via the power of mobile – self-management, as well as access to other services such as telemedicine, monitoring and technology associated with specific needs.

Patients and organisations working in the healthcare sector now have more and richer data that allows new ways of analysing and interpreting information, as well as managing cases more quickly and efficiently.

This situation gives entry to new players, with a very relevant role, in the healthcare industry. Examples are telecommunications providers, insurance companies, sensor manufacturers, software companies and developers, and hardware manufacturers, including large-scale consumer companies.

In the field of patient care, technology is already providing omnichannel benefits with the unification of personalised data and experiences that are the backbone for the development of this sector.

Unified management of clinical history

One of the solutions with better results that we have worked with recently, together with first-line care institutions in Spain, is based on the development of unique platforms for the unified management of patient medical history.

Thus, we have solved the decentralisation of the Spanish healthcare system, which is characterised by having both private and public health centres, with responsibilities distributed among municipalities, provinces and regions. With this project we have connected all centres, enabling them to share millions of clinical documents. This is an excellent example of how technology facilitates the work of health professionals whilst improving the healthcare of citizens.

These projects have a high complexity due to the sheer amount of players involved and the integration of multiple solutions. We work with various public and private organisations and from a technological point of view, with solutions such as Liferay Portal 6.2, SOAP Webservices, Oracle Service Bus, application servers such as Weblogic 11g, Oracle 10g databases, using clinical catalogue standards (CIE-9/10, SNOMED CT, NANDA, LOINC) and tools that allow interoperability.

All of this allows health professionals access in an organised manner, and always within the parameters of security and confidentiality, to the relevant information from the medical records of the health centres in the public healthcare network.

The patient, the great beneficiary

Thanks to integrated care, patients can be treated in any medical centre in any municipality. The platform allows health personnel in hospitals and primary care centres immediate, secure and confidential access to the clinical history of each patient.

In addition, the solution improves the efficiency of the process and reduces the duplication of unnecessary diagnostic tests, saving patients the trips to collect results and take them to their healthcare centre.

From the point of view of health professionals, this solution has other great advantages. On the one hand, it provides up-to-date and relevant information to improve decision making regarding the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

In addition, it allows consultation from any geographical location regardless of the level of the healthcare team, which is a great help when the patient is seen by professionals from other health centres.

The solution also supports the continuity of care and improves coordination between different levels of care, such as primary and specialised care. It also allows the visualisation of radiological images to be shared by several centres, both hospitals and primary care centres in the public care network and decreases the waiting time for images to be available.

In parallel, there are other developments such as the implementation of scalable telemedicine platforms or the possibility of automatically generating clinical recommendations to support physicians in the decision-making process for diagnosis and treatment.

In conclusion, technology contributes to the empowerment of telemedicine and telecare services. This type of project is a model of interoperability and use of standards in information systems, allowing personalisation of medicine and offering integrated care to the patient, which is undoubtedly contributing to a profound transformation of the sector.

Ricoh

Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies to enable healthcare professionals to work smarter. A global company specialising in commercial & industrial printing, document management systems and IT services, Ricoh offers healthcare institutions end-to-end solutions to reduce time spent on admin processes and provide more time for patient care. Ricoh helps healthcare organisations to improve efficiencies and deliver reduced administrative workload for medical staff, ensuring the focus is on patients, not paperwork.

20 Triton Street
London
NW1 3BF
United Kingdom

Miquel Soler

Director of IT Services, Ricoh Spain

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