Sharing data between healthcare practitioners is a broken process: when a patient is admitted to any healthcare facility around the world, a number of reports are drafted by the inpatient care team and shared with the patient’s outpatient care team or family doctor. These surgery reports, discharge letters or prescriptions, among other documents, are essential to ensure an optimal follow-up once the patient is allowed to go home.
The problem is: even if most practitioners these days use secure messaging systems, the healthcare sector still struggles to seamlessly connect their ancillary Electronic Health Records to national patient record systems and secure messaging systems from different vendors or of different versions.
What does this mean? Millions of reports are printed on paper daily and sent by postal mail (more often than not manually by clerical staff), then individually scanned and uploaded to the recipient practitioner’s Patient Management System. It’s a lengthy process, and there is a considerable risk of crucial information being lost along the way.
How medical data is shared in the real world
The inconvenient truth is that despite France having remarkably advanced digital solutions, Government-led eHealth acceleration programmes, and a high level of digital literacy, postal mail remains the default link between different facilities and practitioners. This amounts to hundreds of millions spent yearly on printing, posting and sending medical records. It is safe to say that the French healthcare system can use some help to boost its sustainability, time-efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
A large hospital group is a maze of different software, different versions, protocols… and sometimes even outdated solutions. Making sure all these different systems work together seamlessly requires advanced interoperability that relies on a common language.