IT industry is currently facing lots of challenges
Foto: Dražen Tomić
On international level, we are noticing that the first trend in health IT is creating national platforms for e-health solutions, said Branka Lasić in exclusive interview for ICTbusiness.biz. The main goal is to integrate software solutions from all health organizations with national health platforms. The second trend is connecting those health organizations with each other for exchange of medical data to help doctors and patients.
IN2 has a strong presence in the health sector. You just won a tender in Azerbaijan. What will IN2 offer for this international hospital?
IN2 has the most powerful hospital software in Croatia. This is recognized by the majority of hospitals and other health institutions, and we find it very important to listen to our customers' needs – both in providing on-time support and constantly developing new solutions.
Regarding Bona Dea International Hospital Baku, it will be the biggest challenge so far. Since BIS (our Hospital Information System) is tailored mostly for our local hospitals, we had to look for another HIS solution for Baku. Our Spanish partner Tich Consulting proved to be the best solution – their HIS Green Cube is fully customizable and adaptable for foreign countries and also specialized for private hospitals. IN2 will be leading the project, adapting Green Cube for Bona Dea International Hospital, implementing the software together with Spanish team, and making sure all the hospital processes are covered. Also, our Laboratory Information System - LIS will be implemented as the laboratory software in Baku.
e-Health solutions are something that everybody is talking about for years. What are the trends in IT industry for health sector?
The IT industry is currently facing lots of challenges. During past few decades, as the need for hospital software grew rapidly, each health institution had to find a cheap, fast-to-implement, and easy-to-use solution. For that reason, different software solutions were created, and as a result today we have isolated systems with no communication between them.
On international level, we are noticing that the first trend in health IT is creating national platforms for e-health solutions (like ePrescription, eBooking, eReferral, etc.). The main goal is to integrate software solutions from all health organizations with national health platforms. The second trend is connecting those health organizations with each other for exchange of medical data. This data exchange could prove crucial in improving provided health care for patients, but also for reducing costs for hospitals. For example, there are tests that have a Minimum Retesting Interval (MRI) and if a test of that type has been done for a patient in one hospital, and the patient shifts to another hospital – there is a big chance for repeating the test because the second hospital doesn't know that the test has already been done. The consequence is both financial, time-consuming, and disturbing for the patient. IN2 is working hard on both challenges, and has already around ten active projects based on the eHealth national platform in Croatia and Slovenia. Also, we are always following international standards in communication and data security.
IT for hospitals solutions are very complex. In details what IN2 can offer now for them?
We are constantly improving our Hospital Information System – BIS, and it is our main software solution. It has been developing for the past 20 years, and enables health staff to record, store and access all medical and administrative information they need. BIS covers the basic processes like patient admission, writing medical documentation, billing, etc., but also offers additional modules like accreditation, special nursing module, physical therapy, advanced features in billing, patient diet and many more. But BIS is not any more our only focus. Recently, we have been working on mobile applications that are using BIS database. For example, mNurse is a tablet application designed for nurses to enter all patient data in BIS while standing beside patient’s bed, like vital signs, given therapy, fluid in-take and everything else. It is built on a new technology with a striking design.
Besides BIS, we have a software solution for laboratories – LIS (Laboratory Information System), which breaks the boundaries of the local market and keeps extending it's market share globaly. This is thanks to our strong team situated in Osijek (Croatia), that provides support for 70 laboratories, but is also constantly building new innovative products.
As mentioned before, IN2 is also actively working on the connection between our BIS and the national health platform. As a result, we have completely automatized the process of billing, patient ordering, referral, prescription, reduced waiting lists, etc. Our software is also integrated with local pharmacy software, radiology software, and bookkeeping solutions.
I would also like to point out the importance of our know-how, we have more than 70 employees: consultants, software developers, and project managers with deep knowledge of hospital processes (even the most specific ones), our health legal system, billing rules, and all other necessary information that enables them to follow the changes in hospital’s environment and incorporate it in our software.
What is Integral Hospital Information System – IHIS?
IHIS stands for Integral Hospital Information System and it represents a complete IT solution for hospitals, providing support in all aspects of hospital operations: medical (managing medical documentation), economical (e.g. invoicing of medical services) and business (managing business records, standard ERP functionalities). The system is implemented in 70% of Croatian hospital capacity.
IHIS consists of BIS and LIS we already talked about, PIS – an ERP (Business information system) that provides support for invoicing, receipt of hospital material and creating financial reports; HR (Human Resources) – a solution for managing human resources and information about employees and other personnel and BI (Business Intelligence) module that creates reports from all transaction systems (BIS, PIS and HR) by the user's defined criteria.
Today IHIS is now producing huge amount of data. How to dig into this big data and make it worth for business and medical part of hospitals?
Well, we currently don't face any problems in storage of the huge amount of medical data – the main challenge is how to use it. We always had a good reporting system for extracting necessary data from our BIS, because hospitals have to provide data for our national systems regularly, mostly for statistical analysis. Recently, we built an advanced reporting system that can be customized by users, that enables building more complex reports both for internal purposes and obligatory reports for health regulators.
Of course, this is only the beginning of big data processing – technologically more advanced hospitals abroad are currently gathering, storing, and processing real-time data for all kinds of hospital processes, it is a vision we would like to follow and provide to our customers in some time in the future. We have to be prepared for large investments and hard work, but it's the only way to keep up with international trends. IN2 is ready to face those challenges.