Change has to be learned

  • Change needs to be learned

Keeping up with the times does not mean chasing after every trend. This distinction is important. Since it draws the line between those companies that want to develop stable, reliable solutions for long-term partnerships and those that are only after quick profits. And their product strategy is guided by management buzzwords and potential subsidies rather than by improving the quality of medical care and unburdening the actors in healthcare – including patients. 

VISUS keeps up with the times – and has done so time and time again for almost 25 years. Accordingly, we already have a well practiced routine for dealing with changes and new topics. This experience serves us and our clientele well, precisely because we now have to cope with a large number of changes. But how accurately does Management of a successful change work? Rule number one reads: Identify and focus on the really relevant topics.

Evaluate what is really important

This sounds – as usual – easier than it actually is. One example: Which challenges will arise from the hospital reform proposal with the focus on switching of services to an out-patient basis for IT is still not entirely foreseeable at present. What is clear is that the proposals require even tighter networking of the individual actors with one another and even more reliable communication of medical information. At the same time, care in the in-patient area will presumably be straightened out and reduced to what is essential. What does this mean for the IT infrastructure and the individual systems? Are large, complex IT solutions tailored to one institution then still up-to-date? 

Presumably not. It is foreseeable that IT systems will indeed have to be functionally effective but at the same time, standardized, reproducible and capable of being implemented rapidly. The current trend in establishment of chains of registered private practices also supports this theory. If IT is centrally controlled to increase efficiency, IT concepts must be applicable and scalable to all units. Rapid, simple and without lengthy familiarization time or considerable administrative expense.

Passgenaue Lösungen mit Perspektive mit JiveX

The good news for users of our solutions: With JiveX they are well equipped for the new challenges, since JiveX is based on standards and its design is modular. And with JiveX Healthcare Content Management (HCM), yet another important prerequisite is created, namely the centralization of data belonging to a patient. Since one thing is definitely clear: The data moved around under highly out-patient conditions, which therefore correspond to a care structure with decentralized orientation, must be present centrally and in bundled form in the health facilities. 

A question that has not yet been conclusively answered is how the data consolidated in HCM move from A to B – be it to the registered private practice, to the patient or to a hospital. Specifically: How images and objects are communicated and exchanged. Regardless of how the answer ultimately looks, it will be based on recognized standards. And in the matter of standards, we have done out homework in recent years and in this respect have established an excellent basis for all cases.

Cloud yes – but prudently please

Standardization, centralization, reproducibility, modularity. All of this is crying out formally for complete outsourcing of IT systems in the cloud. And certainly, there is also no way around the cloud. But wait: Such a "move" should be carefully considered. A company such as VISUS, with more than 1,000 customers worldwide, must act smartly in evaluating which functions will be sent to the cloud, with which speed and with which technology. Ultimately, the goal is a long-lasting and quality-improving solution for all facilities – and not only for those that are currently voicing their needs the loudest. 

With the cloud, it's a little like the use of artificial intelligence: The product strategy has to be well thought through and set up for the duration, no rush jobs. Answers to the questions of whether, for example, existing technologies will be used or proprietary versions will be developed, of whether partners will be selected and if yes, which, will decide on the path that a product follows over the next decade. And therefore also on the success of the users of a software system. With the use of AI in the PACS area, the transition to the new epoch has been very successful: starting from integration of third-party solutions in the area of breast diagnostics into PACS, an entire AI marketplace has evolved that harmonizes excellently with JiveX.

As regards the cloud, yet another aspect exists: Specifically, the current developments also include a new regulatory environment, which ultimately enables companies such as ours to hit the ground running in cloud matters. With the new digitization network, companies will ultimately no longer operative in a legal gray area but instead will be able to establish the structures and processes around the cloud on a legally secure and entrepreneurial footing. But this is also accompanied by an organizational structural conversion: from software manufacturer to service provider and operator. For us this is a new role, which has impacts on risk management, on the service and support structures and on the required audits and certificates.

And so it may be that some health facilities are currently short of speed in introducing completely cloud-based software products. But they should be reminded that good things come to those who wait. And that it is the mission of companies such as VISUS to tread the best and not the quickest path. 

Changes are daily business

Healthcare: Changes are a daily fact of life

Which opportunities and risks the actors in healthcare see in the current and planned changes depend greatly on the glasses through which they see the world: Through those of the owner of a radiological practice, those of the Head of IT of a clinic group or of a chain of practices or through those of the radiologist in a clinical establishment. That's why it's so important to listen to different voices, in order to get an impression of the overall situation and mood. And this is just what we've done for the current edition of VIEW. And even though the interviewees cited different priorities, opinions and challenges, they were all just as unanimous on one point: changes are a daily fact of life in medicine. And the key to many challenges lies in IT.

Rethink instead of change

Restructuring the healthcare system: Rethink rather than rearrange

What exactly must happen so that good medical care can be provided offered in the future also? Will it be sufficient to modify the existing in-patient and out-patient care? Not really, thinks Prof. Dr. Dirk Sauerland, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Society at Witten/Herdecke University. The economist's areas of expertise are institutional economics (i.e. examination and organization of incentive systems) and health policy, but for the moment his interests lie in evaluation of new forms of care. His summation of the current developments in healthcare: In principle, care must be rethought, not merely adapted. He explains why in an interview with VIEW. And especially: To what extent.