Friday, November 14, 2008

Interoperability challenges with imaging systems in John Paul II Hospital, Krakow, Poland

Among the main lessons learned during digital imaging implementation and system integration at John Paul II Hospital in Krakow, Poland, were interoperability issues. According to Zbigniew Les from the hospital, “only with closely integrated ICT systems throughout the hospital, the full imageenabled medical electronic patient record can become reality”. However, while extending the ICT network within the hospital and interconnecting it with the systems of other institutions, the hospital faced interoperability problems. Due to a lack of interoperability, John Paul II Hospital cannot take full advantage of the technology in place to extend its usage outside the campus.

On the one hand, “there are still too many versions of software that are not compatible within the sector causing difficulty to exchange data”, Mr. Les said. A lack of state regulation is a further reason: “The process of system integration within the hospital and with other institutions, for example the National Health Fund, is hampered by a lack of clear state regulation about electronic data storage and exchange as well as a lack of standards for exchanging medical information.” Consequently, beside technical solutions, “the involvement of policy makers is equally important to bring clarity and impose some common solutions for the healthcare sector”.

Currently, large institutions with competitive advantage such as John Paul II Hospital impose their solutions to others, Mr Les explained. This may lead to several competitive standards. Their coexistence may result in unnecessary complications for the users and may make the creation of interoperable solutions at the national level more difficult.

Source: European Commission, Enterprise and Industry DG (2007b), p. 116.

No comments: