European CIOs focus on project management in large-scale HIT roll-out

By Armin Scheuer
09:42 AM

In his welcome speech to attendees of the inaugural HIMSS Europe Health IT Leadership Summit in Rome, Italy, Steve Lieber, CEO of HIMSS, said that CIOs must ensure that "staff quickly adapt to new technologies and new IT solutions." Delegates stressed the importance of professional project management and process optimization when it came to encouraging the adoption of health IT.

Morgens Engsig-Karup, CIO of Denmark's Central Health Region, said he expected their EPR system to be unified by 2012, including patient administration and booking, specialty workflows as well as access to the National Medicine Chart and eJournal. He went on to say that the old systems were almost always cheaper than the new ones and, therefore, CIOs must communicate the "benefits of scale" rather than the "economies of scale".

"We are planning to allow hospitals to book each others' resources and enable patients to rebook their appointments on the Internet -- but this is not a technical question, this is a political question," he said.

Three CIOs from Norway presented their regional speech recognition projects. They suggested that in order to roll out speech recognition on a large scale, leadership support was essential, as were successful pilot projects with positive users, frequent internal communications and post-implementation support. But most important of all was user training: "Just to be clear: speech recognition represents a major change for doctors -- if you do the training properly, it will work. If you don't, it won't," said Robert Nystuen, Assistant CIO of Vestre Viken Health Trust. He presented figures from a large-scale speech recognition project showing a cut in transcription costs of 1.2 million euro per year.

Hospitals recognized for EMR adoption

Odense University Hospital (DK), ISMETT Hospital (I) and Geneva University Hospital (CH) were presented with the first three EMRAM awards ever to be won in Europe. EMRAM, the European EMR Adoption Model, is a seven-stage system for guiding hospitals towards digitization. Uwe Buddrus, General Manager of HIMSS Analytics Europe, said that by stages six and seven of the EMRAM model, hospitals were using IT in a way that increased clinical value dramatically.

"Stage seven means optimal patient safety and data sharing across the entire care chain," said Buddrus.
The first HIMSS Europe Leadership Summit in Rome (30 September -- 1 October, 2010) was attended by more than 100 delegates, confirming the increasing trend towards professionalization of the industry on a European level. It is expected to become a recurring event in HIMSS Europe's schedule of high-profile meetings, which also includes eHealth Week / The World of Health IT, which will next be held in Budapest, Hungary (May 10-13, 2011).


Photo of Rome by raselased obtained via Creative Commons license.

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