HUS to introduce more efficient patient data system
Proposed Apotti system criticised as too expensive – supporters say it would save money in long run
The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) wants to switch over to a new labour-saving patient data system.
Tiina Lääveri, a specialist in internal medicine, told journalists on Friday that the aim of the Apotti system is to give priority to the needs of the users.
Working on the project are representatives of doctors, nurses, and social workers. They are now waiting for a political decision on possible authorisation of discussions with various companies on what HUS and the municipalities involved in it expect from the new system.
Doctors currently spend large amounts of time digging patient information out of different systems. More modern systems can show a comprehensive review of all previous treatments and tests on a patient at a glance.
"A study in the United States showed that in the treatment of a diabetes patient, for instance, having all relevant information available at a glance shortened the time doctors spent on searching for information by four minutes per patient. The number of clicks was reduced from 60 to three."
Compared with the present day, the new system is capable of sounding a warning if a doctor accidentally prescribes an excessive dosage of a medication to a child, for instance. The doctors expect that the system would provide better support for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
Costs of the new system are currently estimated at about half a billion euros.
"Developing the patient information system requires large amounts of time and labour. For instance, the American [patient information system developer] Cerner spends 200-250 million dollars a year in product development. The work is not for free", said data systems expert Mikko Rotkonen.
Project director Antti Iivanainen presented a cost analysis according to which the system would bring savings once it is in use, and pay for itself in seven years.
In Helsinki, the Health Care Committee took a three-week time out on the matter. From the committee, the matter will be transferred to the City Board, from where it will go to the City Council. In addition to Helsinki, HUS itself and five other municipalities in the HUS area have a say in the matter.
A number of other municipalities in the HUS area are to be offered the possibility to take part in the project.
Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa