Interoperability: A Silver Lining For The COVID Crisis?

Interoperability: A Silver Lining For The COVID Crisis?

Posted Nov 3, 2021 from

Though deeply challenging on so many levels, the COVID cloud has had some silver linings for healthcare. One has been a growing realisation of the critical importance of interoperability between systems for telehealth to fulfil its potential, as a new webinar explores.

“Because of COVID-19, many countries across Europe have really embraced digital health in a new way. So we have, if you like, a perfect storm at the moment, which is a greater use of digital health tools.”

Dr Gerhard Pölzl, Senior Physician at the Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Innsbruck in Austria, speaks of ELGA’s use in practice at Austria’s HerzMobil Tirol, a disease management program for people with cardiac issues. “This telemedicine program has made automatic event detection of serious deterioration of the patient easier, making it easier to identify those that might need early intervention,” he says, in the webinar. “We have recently published a retrospective comparison of outcomes of patients on the program compared with patients managed in a usual care way,” says Dr Pölzl.“We were able to show that, the management in HerzMobil Tirol was highly significant with regards to the reduction of the combined endpoint including all comorbidity heart failure readmissions and there was a 49% reduction in this combined endpoint after six months.” Yet, until COVID reared its head, the system had not experienced a high level of take-up, says Christian Stark, Project Manager, Clinical Information Systems & eHealth, EHR/ ELGA at Tirol Kliniken GmbH /University Medical Center Innsbruck, Austria. There are also still many issues that make clinicians hesitant to use new tools, says Dr Pölzl: “There has been a lot of resistance among clinicians, it is still widely believed that telemedicine is a new discipline and that simply obtaining a lot of data automatically translates into a better outcome for patients.


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