HIMSS20 priorities for Siemens: interoperability, decision support, patient engagement

The major player in imaging and health IT discusses the trends and some of its technologies with an eye on helping HIMSS20 attendees navigate the show.
By Bill Siwicki
11:57 AM
HIMSS20 priorities for Siemens include interoperability, decision support, patient engagement

Update: HIMSS20 has been canceled due to the coronavirus. Read more here.

Siemens Healthcare will have a major presence at HIMSS20 in March. The vendor of healthcare information technology advises conference and exhibition attendees to watch out for information and technologies on three specific trends: interoperability, clinical decision support and patient engagement.

“Of importance to members of HIMSS and attendees of HIMSS 2020 is to realize the full health potential of every human, everywhere,” Peter Koerte, executive vice president, digital health, Siemens Healthineers, said of HIMSS’s mission. “A continuous reform of the global health ecosystem through the power of information and technology is at the top of the agenda.”

Breaking down data silos

One trend within this context is breaking down health data silos and facilitating the innovation required to achieve collaborative and holistic care along entire patient pathways, he stated. Digital health platforms ensure information security on all levels, the interconnection of patient data that is stored in silos across multiple health systems, and operational support across different technological spheres, he added.

“For many healthcare providers and with more than 4,000 connected sites, Siemens Healthcare’s teamplay digital health platform drives the reduction of data silos and the seamless interconnection of technology and data flows with adherence to highest local and global security standards,” he contended. “Teamplay digital health platform users benefit from Siemens Healthineers digital experience – more than 4,000 connected sites and an installed medical equipment base, privacy and security by design.”

"Our installed base in medical imaging gives our researchers access to more than 500 million curated medical images and reports as well as to clinical and genomic data."

Peter Koerte, Siemens Healthineers

Provider organizations will be able to improve operational efficiency to reduce costs in daily business by increasing process efficiency and interoperability of technology, he continued. They can leverage the power of technological trends like AI to better harness mass amounts of health data and make better informed decisions, he said.

“The Siemens Healthineers teamplay digital health platform addresses the upcoming need for breaking down health data silos, cloud computing and cloud expertise, and the capability to interconnect data flows between health devices,” he said. “And generating, aggregating, standardizing, operationalizing and storing health data securely as well as creating own health solutions by harnessing anonymized health data on the cloud and the innovative power of all connected sites and platform members.”

Clinical decision support

At HIMSS20, a second trend within the global health ecosystem and using the power of information and technology to reform is the enhancement, facilitation and support of informed decision-making along patient pathways, Koerte said.

“Being a physician and a healthcare professional essentially means making the right decisions, with and for patients, patient by patient, day by day,” he said. “And those decisions are so very relevant. They can decide on health and illness, and often they must be made under the pressure of extremely high workload, complex bureaucracy and long shifts on the job.”

And, looking at healthcare providers holistically, as multifaceted organizations, decisions on strategic and operational coordinates come in addition to clinical decisions, he added. Siemens Healthineers believes the power of information and technology in healthcare can contribute significantly to that decision-making – along entire patient pathways.

Challenges of informed decision-making along patient pathways, he contended, include:

  • Anamnesis: Availability of complete patient history and previous tests. 50% of patients report that information necessary to their care was not available when needed, he said.
  • Diagnosis: Diagnostic precision through quantification. Cognitive factors contribute to diagnostic errors in 74% of cases, he stated.
  • Therapy decisions: Having the right data, at the right time for the right patient. 38% state that the most common cited reason for over-treatment was difficulty accessing medical records, he added.
  • Treatment: Making more accurate treatment decisions. In 2020 it is projected that medical data doubles every 73 days, he said.
  • Follow-up: Shared decision making in outpatient scenarios. 77% of physicians have recommended an app or digital program to their patients.

“Siemens Healthineers is currently investing substantially in R&D to expand the digital assistance of informed decision-making along patient pathways,” he explained. “Our installed base in medical imaging gives our researchers access to more than 500 million curated medical images and reports as well as to clinical and genomic data.”

The vendor’s experts build AI-driven products on that data pool to generate valuable additional insights for decision-making along the entire patient journey, he added.

“This is the key lever to healthcare becoming data-driven,” he explained. “And, as a company with close ties to the clinical domain, we know all about the sensitivity of patient data. With a long-standing reputation as a dependable guardian of medical data, we have made and always will make sure that such data is safe.”

Specifically, with an offering called Medicalis Clinical Decision Support, Siemens Healthcare can enable the ordering of the right medical exam, the first time, Koerte contended.

“This offering encourages clinically appropriate use of advanced imaging and maximizes local standard of care by engaging providers and encouraging best practice,” he said. “It improves quality of patient care by ordering exams based on clinical evidence. It eliminates communication breakdowns and inefficiencies with integrated clinical decision support. And it reduces wasteful utilization with standardized treatment for prioritized clinical areas.”

Patient engagement

Koerte concludes by saying a third trend within the global health ecosystem and using the power of information and technology to reform is the engagement of and with patients.

“Patient engagement is centered on providers and patients working together to improve health,” he said. “A patient’s greater engagement in healthcare contributes to improved health outcomes. Patients want to be engaged in their healthcare decision-making process, and those who are engaged as decision-makers in their care tend to be healthier and experience better outcomes.”

Disjointed information systems and care settings pose challenges directly for patients, as well, he added.

“Patients are unsatisfied when their care provider doesn’t have their health data at hand,” he stated. “50% of patients report that information necessary to their care was not available when needed. Not providing holistic patient data negatively affects reputation with patients and referrers. 63% of primary care physicians are dissatisfied with the referral process due to lack of information.”

Siemens Healthineers eHealth Solutions provides access to relevant patient information and enables care team collaboration, he contended.

“The fully digitized process starts with patients authorizing the healthcare provider to access patient health data,” he explained. “This ultimately provides access to health data for physicians, caregivers, and, most important in this context, patients.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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