Patient participation has been highlighted on the agenda by the ministry of the VWS (Public Health, Welfare and Sport). No longer in a wait-and-see position: hard goals and ambitions are meant to motivate patients to be more actively involved in their treatment. ChipSoft helps to achieve these ambitions.
Minister Edith Schippers and State Secretary Martin van Rijn laid three ambitions on the table in the summer of 2015 that should push patient participation to a higher level (see inset on the next page). The pair thinks that digititalization of society needs a comparable translation into health care. The deployment of eHealth is meant to organise care more around those receiving care instead of around the health care provider.
Influence on one's own treatment
Society has changed a great deal in a relatively short time since the arrival of the internet. Nearly all information is within reach for everyone via the worldwide web; even information on every possible condition. The internet also makes it more simple for patients, peers and health care providers to maintain contact with each other. This digititalization makes patients more empowered and kindles the need to exercise influence on their own treatment.
Schippers and Van Rijn want health care to change along with society. They have emphasized eHealth as the most important instrument to realise this transformation, because patients can integrate their need for care into daily life. With the smart use of the internet, patients can make use of health care facilities 24 hours a day and on demand, as is already possible in sectors other than health care. Both patients and health care providers will profit from this.
Multi-faceted patient potential
Policy-makers expect in the first instance most growth in small innovations, as they write in their publication "Society is changing. Will health care change with it?" Making appointments online and providing home measurements will also make a big difference, according to them. ChipSoft has played a role in this for years with the development of a multi-faceted digital patient portal. Our patient portal allows health care institutions to work more efficiently and lessens the administrative load of health care providers. The patients experience this as a valuable service when they can address more health care issues by themselves online. They become more actively involved in their health care processes and provide more health information via their self-measurements, from which both the patient and the health care provider profit.
Various Dutch health care institutions are already using our digital patient portal. Máxima Medical Centre, for example. All patients in the Brabant hospital can make appointments online via the digital portal MijnMMC, see previous and upcoming appointments and can view parts of their medical files. They can access blood test results or reports of X-rays.
Another successful practice example: the UMC Utrecht provides patients with specific self-care tasks, aligned to their need for care and treatment. The tasks vary from daily exercises to periodic completion of a PROMs questionnaire. Via 'Mijn UMC Utrecht', patients do this wherever and whenever works for them, after which the results are immediately visible in the EPD for their health care provider. Via an eConsult, they can also ask questions of their health care provider at any time.
Apple Watch and PGD
In the coming years, patients will play an increasingly greater part in their health care process. The recent launch of the Apple Watch is a clear signal of this. This much-discussed watch has a heartbeat monitor that communicates with a smartphone, which is then equipped with various functionalities to monitor fitness and health information. And home measurement equipment (such as a blood pressure monitor) communicates more and more with smartphones. Increasingly more people gather health data in this way and the information can be valuable to health care providers. Some apps even notify health care providers of worrying blood pressure levels. And thus, more and more of these types of functionalities are appearing.
With the digital portal solution from ChipSoft, health care institutions have patients record their own health information in their EPD, so that it is immediately available to the health care providers. Self-measurements are thus extra valuable for both patients and health care providers. In addition, our software is ready for the PHD (personal health dossier), that will give patients complete control over their own medical file.
We wholeheartedly believe in this kind of solution and keep innovating in the area of eHealth. In short: ChipSoft is ready to help the ministry to make patient participation ambitions a reality. Are you?