HiGHmed partners on the road - Slovenia and Austria

A delegation from the HiGHmed consortium met with representatives of the Slowenian Ministry of Health and the University of Ljubljana, getting interesting insights into the Slowenian healthcare system, as well as into the pediatric hospital of Ljubljana, where a modern EHR system was extensively introduced and discussed. The EHR at Ljubljana offers hospital-wide worklists, labs, charts, medication order entry, staff scheduling and medical devices monitoring, while at the same time its performance stays very high. The system is also continuously developed further, as the developers get more and more demands for features from the medical staff. The staff consider the system a key benefit for the successful treatment of their patients e.g. at the pediatric ICU, not being dependent anymore on extensive manual documentation, scheduling and ordering steps.

Afterwards the team went on to visit the Institute for Medical Informatics at the Medical University of Graz where they gained insights into the successful implementation of the national electronic health record (ELGA) of Austria. Andrea Berghold (Chair of institute), Prof. Stefan Schulz, Werner Leodolter (Chair of Information and Process management) and Dr. Markus Kreuzthaler gave interesting and detailed insights into the development process and architecture of the ELGA at Styria, Austria. Around 1.2m citizens from the region participate in the national ELGA system using an opt-out method and can access their medical documents and information using their citizen ID. Patients are able to e.g. exclude certain hospital visits from the system as well.

The architecture of HiGHmed was extensively discussed and key architectural differences to the ELGA were obviously found, yet the team from the Institute for Medical Informatics at Graz gave a positive feedback to the HiGHmed architecture and were in favor of certain key features of the HiGHmed architecture. Afterwards, Prof. Schulz gave a very interesting introduction to his work on semantics in biomedicine, giving the HiGHmed team useful suggestions on how to solve the issue of distributed and diverse semantics in the consortium.