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Clinical information systems (CIS) of the future

Learn about the current challenges in Clinical Information Systems (CIS) and the future development opportunities to become integrated through a web based interface and a cloud based hospital IT app store.

Overview

Current State of Clinical Information Systems (CIS)

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Future of Clinical Information Systems

The global market for hospital information systems is large and continues to grow quickly. Clinical Information Systems (CIS) are in widespread use, but are ripe for innovations that will allow greater access to patient information and improvements in care.

Most hospitals with over 200 beds in Europe and the US already have a CIS in place, while the rest of the world is adopting them rapidly. These systems are currently not utilized to their full potential as patient information is not generally accessible in ready formats and all locations as new technologies will allow.

As new developments in web interface and app-store style modular functionality continue to come into play, hospitals will have increased options and capabilities to improve patient care and outcomes.

Background

One of the major obstacles presented by current CIS is their inability to adapt to a hospital’s individual processes and to meet the needs of healthcare professionals – and of course patients- in the carrying out of their daily work. What that means in practice is that the processes required by healthcare professionals during their day-to-day work with patients cannot be integrated in workflows that follow the patient journey through the hospital or wider healthcare system.

Current CIS also tend to lack the functionality to create and maintain processes as they evolve in order to optimize the workflow in healthcare facilities that support and respond to day-to-day work. That deficiency can mean that any individual healthcare worker will often not have access to the information they need to quickly and precisely understand a patient’s specific requirements at any one time.

Mobile integration is also generally absent or inadequate. The lack of mobile integration means that it is generally not possible to have information available on the move where it would be most valuable.

Key Findings

Suppliers have many opportunities in this space, particularly centered in three areas:

  1. Increased understanding by healthcare providers of benefits and efficiency gains from CIS, supplemented by government incentives to adopt greater use of ICT in healthcare.

  2. The need to improve quality and at the same time optimize the use of resources throughout the health system is driving demand for information systems that can support streamlined, efficient processes and offer comprehensive support for clinical decision-making.

  3. Other developments such as advanced voice recognition and the ability to record data in structured formats as well the greater use of mobility directly at the point of use.

Realizing many of these potential gains will require overcoming a significant barrier, namely the inability of proprietary systems to interface easily and inexpensively with other systems or applications.

Recommendations

Two paths are likely for the CIS of the future - one in the near term, another more long term.

  • Near Term: Web-Based Interface. A new control and presentation layer that placed on top of a hospital’s existing IT systems (CIS, LIS, RIS, PACS , etc). By providing a web-based interface to all subsystems, it will allow users to bring together the information and services they need in one place, in line with their roles and aligned to clinical pathways.

  • Long Term: Cloud-Based Hospital IT App Store. Provided on a pay-as-you-go basis, this solution would enable maximum flexibility, with each user able to configure and constantly adapt their services according to their needs as they evolve. In any given clinical context, users would be able to download apps that provide the functionality they require from a hospital app store, along with additional applications for administrative and financial functions on an as-needed basis. Seamless integration across devices and platforms would enable any department to offer applications as required, fully customizable to user needs.