Faster treatment of patients, less time wasted, faster accessibility to information and happier employees and patients. This is some of the feedback from the Faroe Islands after the implementation in 2007 of a very extensive system for electronic health records (EHR), which includes medical practitioners and hospitals as well as many other relevant hospital functions.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Faster treatment of patients, less time wasted, faster accessibility to information and happier employees and patients. This is some of the feedback from the Faroe Islands after the implementation in 2007 of a very extensive system for electronic health records ( EHR ), which includes medical practitioners and hospitals as well as many other relevant hospital functions.
In the course of the last three years, the effects of the implementation have been followed closely and studied by researchers from Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University who continuously have provided feedback to the Faroese. The researchers characterise the system, and not least the implementation, as a success and believe that Denmark can learn from the Faroese project, just as the Faroese have made great use of the Danish experience with the implementation of EHR in their process.
Great extent and functionality What is most unique about the Faroese project is that as many players and functions in the healthcare system as possible have been taken into account. Therefore, the Cosmic system allows prescription of medicine, referrals, booking, ordering and results of blood tests, mail functions and delivery of discharge letters to local doctors. Furthermore, e.g. x-ray treatment, pharmacies and social services are about to be implemented as well.
And the totality of the Faroese system and the inclusion of so many functions, from local medical practitioners, hospital and rehabilitation, is exactly what is vital to the success, the researchers behind the study believe.
- In the Faroe Islands, the circle is about to be closed and the people up there are really starting to be able to see the use of Cosmic. When medical practitioners, doctors from the emergency service, hospital doctors, nurses and nursing staff update the system right after treating the patients, it will create great manageability as well as a lot of double work is avoided, says Associate Professor Povl Erik Rostgård Andersen.
Can still learn from each other In connection with the implementation of EHR in the Faroe Islands, there has been close contact with Danish regions and hospitals in order to e.g. learn from and draw on Danish experience. An now that the Faroese are far ahead in the process, the learning today can and should also be taking place the other way around, Povl Erik Rostgård Andersen believes.
- In the Faroe Islands, they are further ahead with the implementation of EHR than in Denmark. But it should also be born in mind that the Faroe Islands are smaller and about the size of a medium Danish municipal. This makes it easier to implement EHR and easier to close the circle. But the Danish regions and hospitals will still be able to learn from the results that have been achieved in the Faroe Islands, says Povl Erik Rostgård Andersen.
Structured work with confidence The researchers behind the studies have especially been focusing on the importance of Cosmic to the users, i.e. the employees in the Faroese healthcare system. And fortunately, the studies have shown a positive attitude towards the new EHR system, which is vital for the further development of Cosmic.
Associate Professor Bjarne Rerup Schlichter, who also is behind the research in the Faroe Islands, emphasises the importance of focusing on the confidence that the players have in the project. The Faroese project has had both ups and downs and has therefore been working quite a lot on this part.
- It is paramount that people believe in the project and see the advantages. If a group of employees loses its confidence in the system and cannot see the use of it, everything will fall to pieces, and it cannot merely be managed by means of an email. It requires physical presence of the support group right from the beginning. The management needs to be adept at explaining the purpose, communicating a lot and listening to both the positive and negative experiences that the users have. Because when everyone uses the same system, teaching in and experience with the system is crucial to making it work.
- It is also vital to celebrate the success, so that people’s confidence in the work is maintained and progress becomes visible. This is something that the Faroese have been good at focusing on, says Bjarne Rerup Schlichter.
Facts about Electronic Health Record ( EHR ):
- Electronic health record is an electronic version of the old paper record, in which information on patients, treatments, medicine, etc. is recorded.
- There are many versions of EHR. Cosmic is only one of them.
- In the Faroe Islands, the EHR solution includes e.g. joint record, referrals and discharge summaries between local doctors and the main hospital, ordering and results regarding different types of examinations and tests.
For further information:
Povl Erik Rostgård Andersen Associate Professor Department of Management
Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University
Mobile: 2162 9244
Tel.: 8948 6356
This story was released on 2010-06-13. Please make sure to visit the official company or organization web site to learn more about the original release date. See our disclaimer for additional information.