Telematics services for physicians: Embedding solutions instead of just implementing them
For medical practices, care centres and outpatient units, access to the telematics infrastructure is a major topic. According to Jens Naumann, managing director of medatixx, a market leader in IT solutions for outpatient care, it can only succeed if communication services, electronic patient files and ePrescriptions are fully embedded in a familiar user interface. The company will be showing how that works at the virtual DMEA 2021 – and how, as well as with telematics services, practices can be supported digitally.
Among outpatient care professionals, what is the main topic where IT is concerned?
For outpatient care professionals, and for us as well, the focus is on implementing the new mandatory applications of the telematics infrastructure (TI). Medical practices, care centres and outpatient units using our x.isynet, x.concept, x.comfort, easymed, medatixx and x.vianova medical practice software solutions are increasingly going online, and we are supporting them in that effort. Access to electronic patient files (ePA) is to be operational by 1 July. Medical practices are to begin transmitting electronic sick notes on 1 October and ePrescriptions will become mandatory as of January 2022. For our customers, those are very important topics that considerably impact their practices’ work, which is why we will be focusing on them at the virtual DMEA.
For policymakers, telematics infrastructure access no longer seems to be an issue. For medical practices however, it is only the beginning. What are the challenges?
Let us begin with the communication service (KIM). This is a prerequisite for transmitting electronic sick notes and electronic medical reports. In one sense, KIM is an elementary email service provided by the TI. However, using KIM simply for emailing makes it cumbersome for practices, requiring them to sign in to separate email clients, shuffle medical reports and maintain separate address lists. Our goal goes beyond that. There must be total integration while user ergonomics remain the same. That can only work if KIM – including future ePrescriptions – is fully embedded in the medical practice software. That is the only way to ensure ease of use and practices’ acceptance of these new services. We will be presenting these embedded features at DMEA, including at a virtual meeting of users for our regular customers on Wednesday afternoon. Immediately afterwards, we will be showing interested users our entire portfolio. There too, the focus will be on implementation of the TI.
What is the situation with electronic patient file access?
This is where embedding solutions in the medical practice software is even more important and unlike with KIM, integrating it is one of gematik’s requirements. The electronic patient file will arrive in two phases. As of 1 July, medical practices must be able to communicate with fully document-based electronic patient files. Starting in early 2022, phase two will be more demanding and will involve transmitting structured data, for instance diagnostic and vaccination data to and from electronic patient files. This will require standardising data capture, storage and processing and is much more complex than transferring documents from one file to another or from one practice’s system to another. That is why every provider of hospital and medical practice software products will be occupied with implementing the system and making substantial changes to programme structures and interfaces over an extended period of time. Our goal there is also to embed the electronic patient file in a familiar system environment. That is what we will be measured by.
What other news is there aside from the TI? Has Covid changed the world of medical practice software for outpatient care?
Undoubtedly so. It impacts two areas in particular: online video consultations and online appointments. With x.onvid and x.webtermin, we are able to offer our customers highly efficient solutions that are fully embedded in our systems. Both products are in demand, and that clearly also has to do with Covid. Being able to offer consultation times for vaccinations, for example. In that context, an online tool that assigns time slots is a great advantage. In non-TI news, a completely new software category awaits users at DMEA: our medical practice management software called prima!.
Doesn’t medical practice software do that job?
No. Medical practice software focuses on a practice ’s patient-related processes, while prima! management software has nothing to do with patient data. It helps practices and care centres to organise practice-focused, non patient-related processes. It deals with practice-related organisational aspects and things such as contract management and service provider lists. It features electronic folders and comprehensive task management for employees. In short, it acts as a sort of enterprise resource planning system tailored to the needs of medical practices, and gives lists, Excel tables and paper printouts a structural framework. Our product targets medical practices and care centres all over Germany, not only users of our medical practice software. It will be worth taking a look during our afternoon DMEA event on Wednesday, 9 June. Incidentally, interested users can find a link to the above-mentioned events at dmea.medatixx.de