Leistungen // Laterales Management

hospitals and digitalisation VariATIONEN

Ulrike Röse-Maier is the Managing Director of “Media Consult Maier” in Karlsruhe. The company specialises in the recruitment of medical personnel for hospitals. In her opinion, hospitals have huge potential for using digital applications. German hospitals are, in fact, clearly lagging behind Dutch or Danish clinics. An exception on which we have already reported in this blog is the University Medical Centre Eppendorf in Hamburg.

The protestant Agaplesion hospitals, a hospital chain with 25 clinics in 20 locations that cares for approximately 750,000 patients each year, are another beacon. They will invest EUR 300 million in digital processes over the next three years.

The company has already successfully taken some steps towards digitalisation. The digital patient file will be implemented accordingly by the end of 2017. This sounds easy but is anything but. It is likely that only ca. ten percent of all public administrations have introduced the e-file and that is despite it having been technically feasible for at least ten years.

Are hospitals up to the BIG data of Google and IBM Watson?

The hospital information system (HIS) is a next step. The aim is to enable patients to view their diagnoses and design a further treatment plan. Consideration is also being given to providing patients with fitness armbands so that they can evaluate and control their key medical data themselves.

Markus Horneber, CEO of the fourth largest group of hospitals in Germany, is preoccupied with the key issue for the future, namely digitalisation, because he is concerned about the competitiveness of his hospitals. While the sector leaders, Fresenius Helios, Rhön and Sana-Kliniken can expand – Helios spent six billion euros investing in the Spanish market in 2016 – smaller hospitals must focus increasingly on efficiency and niche markets.

Horneber is particularly interested in new methods of data collection and evaluation being pioneered by Google, SAP and IBM. Google Calico collects data about ageing in the Net. Google Baseline enables doctors to collect patient data on an anonymised basis, which the Google Group then systematises and evaluates, meaning that diagnoses and routines can then be simplified.

The health market is being reapportioned

In a previous article for the blog, we reported on the fact that IBM’s Watson Health not only analyses the 170,000 articles produced per year on developments in cancer but also evaluates cancer diagnoses in cooperation with the largest Indian group of hospitals.

Hospitals are to pay a great deal to be able to use these data in future. Looking forward, the IT conglomerates will have more market power than all their competitors in the hospital sector. The CEO of the protestant hospitals is quite sure of that. At Agaplesion, they are well aware that the health market is being reapportioned just now.