“Those who provide the best care for patients also work the most economically”—that is the principle behind DIAKO in Flensburg. However, optimal medical care also requires that all relevant treatment information is available at all times and all locations. And this is where JiveX Healthcare Content Management (HCM) comes into play, which has been in use as a medical archive in DIAKO and the adjacent St. Franziskus Hospital since May. Initial feedback from users: true progress!
“Digitalization must be serviceable”
The positive reaction can also be attributed to the special situation of the two hospitals. DIAKO Flensburg and the Maltese Hospital St. Franziskus Hospital are the only hospitals in Flensburg and are just a few hundred meters apart as the crow flies, which is why the decision was made in 2006 to jointly provide healthcare. Since then, the specialty departments have been divided over the two hospitals with no discipline duplicated. This has maintained not just the cost effectiveness but also the quality of treatment in both hospitals.
“Unparalleled leap in quality”
Despite the good daily collaboration between the two denominational facilities, the primary IT systems, including the number ranges, are still separate. In fact, communication and information systems from two manufacturers are in use, which runs contrary to the goal of the merger. The objective was to harmonise and optimize the treatment processes—with the aim of achieving this prior to the move of both hospitals to a new building that is planned for 2026. A reason why the St. Franziskus Hospital will migrate to the CGM MEDICO CIS used by DIAKO.
But this is not enough. “Here and now, both hospitals need joint, secure, and complete patient records that comply with increasing clinical requirements and set us up well for the future,” explains Jens-Peter Cropp, Organizational Developer at DIAKO Krankenhaus gGmbH in Flensburg.
This task has been satisfied by the JiveX Healthcare Content Management since spring 2021. However, the requirements that the HCM can satisfy go further, as explained by Jens-Peter Cropp: “Digitalization cannot merely mean indifferently adopting the structure of analog paper patient records. This was certainly no way to capture clinicians. We needed a medical archive, that is, a system that aggregates the data in a way that conforms to the work performed by healthcare professionals. In concrete terms, this means that an X-ray along with a referral and possibly also lab test results can be accessed in a viewer. This means that in future physicians can fully get through a case, without having to switch between IT systems or jump around an archive. This displaying of different information on a screen is a perceptible leap in quality.”
Two hospitals—one archive
The current situation with two hospitals that treat identical patients at different locations means that access to the HCM and thus to a shared record is extremely important. This is the only way to ensure that transferring patients from one facility to the other is not associated with a potential loss of medical information.
However, the success of the introduction of IT systems such as the HCM depends not only on the technical implementation of the patient records but primarily on its acceptance by users. And despite employees being open-minded about digitalization, this is not a matter of course, as Oliver Lohn, IT Manager at DIAKO, knows all too well: “User friendliness of IT systems was disregarded by many providers for a long time and users were treated downright shabbily with poor interfaces. This was never the case with JiveX products. We have been working with JiveX Enterprise PACS since 2006 and everyone is impressed by the good ergonomics and usability of the software. With just a few clicks, users reach their goal, which is why the software is very popular with users—regardless of whether it’s PACS or HCM.”
The intuitive operation also facilitated the launch of the HCM, which took place in the middle of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the pandemic, training had to be conducted online, which nevertheless did not impact the understanding of all user groups.
More success thanks to fewer systems and contact persons
And from an IT perspective, the introduction of the HCM was also a manageable task, ultimately because the system is based on the Enterprise PACS technology and a new server infrastructure or the like was not necessary.
The new link between the CIS provider CGM and VISUS only had benefits for those in Flensburg explains Peter Scholtyssek, IT Manager in the St. Franziskus Hospital: “It is terrific for us that our future CIS and the HCM come from one provider. This achieves not only integration of technology but also of personnel. We find the contact persons for the two most important IT systems in one organizational unit, which is a huge advantage in day to day work. The fewer contact persons, the less stress for us.”
But it is the patients in the region who stand to gain the most from the increase in quality resulting from the consolidation of medical information within the HCM and the amalgamation of VISUS and CGM. This is because “the degree of intersectoral networking will increase over the next few years. And the hospital will no longer be the central point in the care chain but simply one component. Even now outpatient and inpatient care is undergoing radical change with completely new infrastructure being established and operated so that medical data will be available anywhere that it is needed. So that we can successfully—and economically—be involved in this care provision scenario, we must keep as much data as possible centrally in one system so that we have to manage as few external interfaces as possible. We have laid the foundation stone for this with HCM,” according to Jens-Peter Cropp, with an eye on the near future.
"We carried out this digitization project in close cooperation with our partner d.velop," reports Martin Klingelberg, Vice President Sales DACH at VISUS. d.velop is an ECM specialist for document management based in Gescher in the Coesfeld district.