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Hospital-IT: A new start as an opportunity

Man dark blue jacket, light blue shirt, glasses and man brown jacket, black T-shirt, beard.

Arne Petersen and Ecky Oesterhoff (f. l.t. r.)

Ecky Oesterhoff, Senior Business Developer at CGM, and Arne Petersen, Senior Vice President HIS DACH, advocate that the challenge should be seen as an opportunity to establish modern and, above all, interoperable IT systems that ensure future security in times of change in healthcare policy.

SAP has announced the discontinuation of the accounting and billing focused SAP for Healthcare (β€œIS-H”) starting 2027. Therefore, the hospital information system also comes to an end. This means the biggest IT conversion in the german hospital sector in a long time. How does CGM position itself?

Arne Petersen: As a long-standing partner of SAP we have a great deal of experience, not only with the implementation of IS-H, but also with the migration towards S/4HANA. This is significant because, in many hospitals, S/4HANA remains the Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP). So, it’s about replacing the system for accounting and billing on the one hand and on the other hand possibly the hospital information system (HIS), an then integrating this new landscape with the ERP, which in many cases continues to come from SAP. In this context, there will be an enormous need for consulting in the coming years, for which we have prepared our team exceptionally well, specifically through the CGM Academy.

Ecky Oesterhoff: Specifically, in the area of accounting and billing, we are entering the market with our own solution, CGM CLINICAL RCM. RCM stands for Revenue Cycle Management, and it is the counterpart to what IS-H or SAP for Healthcare has provided up to now. In many hospitals, the pressure to act in this area, which is directly relevant to revenue, is the greatest, even more than regarding the HIS discontinuation. Therefore, our recommendation to existing SAP customers is to first address this issue. In a second step, the HIS can be renewed where necessary. Due to the technical dependencies between IS-H and, many hospitals are also under high pressure to act here. With CGM CLINICAL we offer a convenient and high-performing HIS that uses the same modern G3 technology as CGM CLINICAL RCM, which allows both solutions to mesh optimally. Of cours, CGM CLINICAL RCM can also be used with any other HIS.

Do clinics also benefit from the SAP discontinuation, or is it just a huge stress?

Arne Petersen: In our opinion, the goal should be for this conversion to result in much more than just a simple replacement. We see enormous opportunities, especially concerning User Experience, to improve things. Here at CGM, we can contribute a big deal. Both CGM MEDICO and CGM REHA offer the complete spectrum of billing. This expertise, combined with the G3 operating philosophy, takes RCM to a new level. The advantage is obvious: with CGM solutions, billing and clinical functions have a uniform design and development philosophy. User Experience and Joy of Use are embedded in our development process. This affects both the speed and the usability, for example in areas like coding support or MDK (Medical. Advisory Service for the statutory health insurance) requests. Our solutions are also characterized by high flexibility, which is important in light of the reform of hospital financing.

RCM will in the future check service accounting with AI models and provide recommendations for action. Through sophisticated policies to generate and assess performance as well as nationwide benchmarks with MetaBENCH we will significantly increase billing quality. This saves time during documentation and provides an important contribution to the security of proceeds and liquidity of the hospitals.

Though the modern FHIR-based integration of RCM in the ERP modules, which we are currently developing with SAP, we provide a much wider range of functions compared to standard connections. An example of this is the overview and adjustment of open positions directly in patient management.

When should the affected hospitals act?

Ecky Oesterhoff: If we assume that the discontinuation will be announced for 2027, then 2024 should be the year of decision for the hospitals, regarding how they will position themselves for the future. Putting a system out to tender, selecting one and then rolling it out takes time. And because many clinics will be effected at the same time, there could eventually be staffing shortages. Speculating on an extension until 2030 is, in our view, not purposeful. Especially in times where the best possible accounting expertise is essential. A swift implementation, combined with a comprehensive migration, is essential for SAP clinics and is exactly what we want to implement with them.

The DMEA has a strong focus on impatient care. What else are you going to show besides HIS?

Ecky Oesterhoff: We have our entire range of solutions with us. We are the market leader among practitioners and dentists, offer pharmacy software, and in addition to our acute care hospitals, we also have around about 500 customers in the physical rehabilitation. Furthermore, we provide comprehensive systems in the areas of Social Care, PACS and Lab. This underlines our claim to represent the complete patient journey. The glue between the sectors are integrated solutions such as patient portals and, in the future, the electronic patient record. We are also present in this area with a variety of our own solutions. Another example is our solution for personnel planning (HRM), which addresses the urgent megatrend of the skilled worker shortage. The basis for all of this is interoperability. With our broad spectrum of solutions interoperability is practically part of our DNA. At DMEA we will present the first use cases of integrating our AI “ChatCGM” into the HIS and demonstrate how semantic interoperability paired with artificial intelligence creates significant benefits for our customers.

Arne Petersen: By the way, this isn’t a new topic for us. With CGM MEDICO, we recognized the potential of FHIR years ago as one of the first HIS manufacturers. This is very beneficial to us today. We are also well-versed in other standards, such as IHE, which plays a central role in our PACS VISUS JiveX. However, it is also clear: communication standards alone are not enough. We also need data that can be communicated properly. That is exactly the core of our new software generation G3. Only when data ist stored and processed semantically correctly, hospitals will be able to network regionally in a meaningful way, whether via patient portals, telemedicine, or discharge management scenarios. The basis for all of this is interoperability, and wewill demonstrate what this looks like in practice at the DMEA.