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"Acting instead of reacting, shaping instead of enduring"

Man with glasses wears grey jacket and white shirt

Matthias Meierhofer, CEO and founder of Meierhofer AG. (Image source: Meierhofer AG)

Hospitals are fighting on many fronts. HIS renewal, structural change, IT security and cross-institutional networking are just some of the issues that need to be tackled. At DMEA, Meierhofer AG shows that it can provide a wide range of support for these challenges: with solutions, processes and services. Founder and CEO Matthias Meierhofer sees the strength of his company not least in the fact that it actively helps to shape change whenever possible.

As a provider of a leading hospital information system (HIS), you are close to the day-to-day workings of hospitals. What are hospitals particularly concerned about?

We are currently seeing three major and a number of smaller issues that are keeping hospitals very busy. In many places, the focus is still on taking hospitals to the next level of digitalisation by implementing funding projects under the Hospital Future Act (KHZG). In political terms, structural changes are the big issue: the trend is clearly moving towards outpatient care, and hospitals must adapt to this if they want to survive. And then a relevant subset of hospitals will have to change their HIS, triggered by the discontinuation of SAP IS-H and the disappearance of smaller providers. The next wave of consolidation has begun. There are also the perennial issues of skills shortages, IT security and cross-institutional communication. We can help with all of this.

Keyword HIS change or IS-H cancellation: How can you provide support here?

There are two aspects to this. Existing customers who already use our M-KIS and for whom IS-H needs to be replaced receive the two solutions M-KIS Billing and M-KIS Patient Management from us, which do exactly what IS-H did. This is possible for both large and small hospitals. We are also the right partner for a HIS change. With Asklepios Kliniken Hamburg, Europe's largest digital healthcare cluster, we have extensive experience with the replacement of In general, a HIS change should be as quick and uncomplicated as possible so that patient care is affected as little as possible. This is where we can score points with our tried-and-tested M-KIS Now concept, which we will be presenting in detail again at DMEA 2024.

How does the M-KIS Now concept work?

Thanks to standardised implementation processes, we relieve the hospital of a large amount of preparatory work. We deliver a HIS with clinical processes that have already been established and have proven themselves with other customers. These processes can of course be changed, but such standards are a huge benefit, especially in the introduction phase. We have now had very good experience with this approach in several facilities.

In terms of digital policy, everyone is currently talking about the new electronic patient file, the ePA. Are you also making this a topic at the DMEA?

The ePA is part of the telematics infrastructure and cross-organisational communication, and these are of course important topics. The ePA is due to launch in 2025 with the digital medication process, which consists of a medication list and a curated medication plan. The medication list in turn interacts closely with the ePrescription. Hospitals have simply not been included in this whole topic so far. There is still a lot of preparatory work to be done, which will certainly be a topic of discussion at the DMEA. We are sceptical about the connection of hospitals in view of the start date of mid-January 2025, but the plans and the new gematik specification are basically going in the right direction. They listened, you can tell. We just can't stop listening now.

What other focal points do you have at DEMA 2024?

Keyword shortage of skilled labour: Here we are focusing primarily on our Managed Services. By providing second-level services for applications and operations, we can significantly relieve the burden on hospitals. We can also take on a lot in the area of IT security and thus create room for manoeuvre in terms of personnel. Our academy, where we offer training courses that the IT department does not have to organise itself, also reduces the workload. Another DMEA topic is medication, which is an important issue not only with regard to the ePA. We will be presenting our new medication solution, which we are developing further together with Asklepios, including closed loop medication, unit dose connection and pharmacist workstation.

What characterises Meierhofer AG as a whole? Why do you see yourself as the right partner for digitalisation in hospitals?

Firstly, as an owner-managed medium-sized company, we are a rock in the surf. We are not constantly being sold. We don't suddenly cancel our HIS. Our customers appreciate this, as well as the fact that we are close to political events and can act quickly. We are involved in committees and the bvitg e. V.. We want to help shape developments as best we can - also to prevent things that we know will fall on the feet of our customers. I believe this is seen and honoured.