EHR-connected specialty specific auxiliary systems in public specialized healthcare 2014–2020
Keywords:Electronic Health Records, Hospital Information Systems, Health Care Surveys, Systems Integration
There are several different information systems in use in healthcare. The most important of these are electronic health records (EHRs), which are used both to record patient care information and to schedule services and procedures. Healthcare information systems also include auxiliary systems that are acquired for a specific operation or specialty. Depending on the source and definition, there are tens to thousands of auxiliary systems in Finland. The large number of different information systems as well as the fragmented system architecture hinder the clinical workflow, among other things.
The aims of this study were to gain an understanding of the current situation of the brands and use of specialty specific auxiliary systems in public specialized healthcare as well as to determine the degree of integration of auxiliary systems, that is, the extent to which they are available through the EHR system. In addition, the purpose was to make a comparison over time in order to see whether there are some perceivable trends. The study was carried out by analyzing the sub-data of the Finnish health care organization survey collected in 2020 and comparing it with the data of 2017 and 2014, respectively.
Based on the study, the degree of integration of specialty specific auxiliary systems has increased since 2017 and it can be assumed that its direction will continue to be similar in the future. In the last three surveys, the use of auxiliary systems in different specialties has become more common among Finland's hospital districts, and the number of brands in use has also mainly increased. For those variables, however, national reforms and projects in healthcare may change the direction of development in the future. Based on the results, the prevalence of use of specialty specific auxiliary systems in hospital districts does not go hand in hand with the number of brands or the degree of integration. From the large number of auxiliary systems, it can be concluded that there is still a clinical need for them. However, a wide range of systems poses challenges, as evidenced by conflicting responses concerning particularly the degree of integration.
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