Innovation made possible by a strong collaboration among all healthcare actors
This success is the result of close collaboration between the public and private sectors. The know-how acquired by the stakeholders in this process could rapidly be exported to the rest of Europe. We have discussed the maturity of the project with two important stakeholders, Yves Reding, CEO of EBRC and Michel Ackerman, business consultant for healthcare.
Shared Electronic Health record: major technological enhancement
One of the main services provided by the national platform for eHealth services is the Shared Care Record (DSP), an electronic file for the exchange and sharing of health data among health professionals involved in caring for the patient. The Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg (IBBL) is an independent biobank, a non-profit dedicated to improving health outcomes for patients by supporting high standards of medical research.
The IBBL acts as an international center of excellence in the biobank field and helps speed up the introduction of personalised medicine in Luxembourg. "The health sector is a strategic field for EBRC today", says Yves Reding. "Our goal is to build a complete ecosystem in this area, and IBBL and DSP are the first bricks. This ecosystem is complex, however: uniting all stakeholders-doctors, engineers, biochemists, specialists, etc. - in the best interest of the patient is a serious challenge. The process is slow and the effort to educate and inform all stakeholders is therefore significant. The first two bricks are nevertheless already in place and others can now add their own contribution to the building."
Synergies and interoperability at the European level: a major requirement to fully benefit from technological enhancement
"New bricks can be added by third parties" explains Michael Ackerman, business consultant for healthcare. "The architecture allows for the integration of other agents and the validation of alternatives. Synergies are not only possible but greatly facilitated by the standards that underpin the eHealth platform. The management software for independent medical practices GECAMed that was developed by the CRP Henri Tudor, has been integrated from the very beginning, as well as an epSOS module. "Hervé Barge, director of the eHealth Agency, announced last November during an interview that Luxembourg had joined the epSOS program in December 2012, "an interoperability project in the eHealth sector cofinanced by the European Union and which aims at setting up a large - scale pilot project with cross-border services. The NCP (National Contact Point, ed.), which connects the Luxembourg system to the epSOS network was installed on the eHealth platform operated by EBRC."
"Moreover ", he added, "the Grand Duchy has organised the 2015 edition of the Connectathon, a highly visible technical conference at the European level bringing together 300 companies from the health sector." The Connectathon IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) is a platform for interoperability testing. In the context of this event, the editors demonstrate in a practical way that the data flows they produce meet the IHE specification, an initiative by healthcare professionals to improve the way in which the software applications in this sector exchange information."
Standards and best practices: security at the forefront of Healthcare digital transformation
"Not only the methods of storage and access to information meet the IHE standard," says Michael Ackerman, "the safety standard PCI-DSS Level 1 has also been transposed from the financial world to the medical sector-the motivation for this being to promote the eHealth platform as a real health data vault-not to mention the implementation of the ISO 27001 standard for information security, the CSA standard for the cloud and the Tier IV standard for the data centre."
"The platform-especially in the context of the DSP-is thereby resolutely patient centric: it is the patient who holds the keys and rights to his data. It is he who defines his group of trusted professionals, who decides who can access, as a whole or only in part, his records, and who states whether he refuses to be an organ donor or not."
"Through the consortium that EBRC formed with SQLI, the application layer of the platform also benefits from the best practices and the highest standards: SOA, SSO, or LuxTrust. The eHealth platform can be an ideal starting point for any stakeholder who wants to make his solution available to the sector."
Allowing Healthcare platform to connect easily with every stakeholders
"The elasticity of the solution that has been made available allows other stakeholders to easily integrate with the platform", summarises Yves Reding. "The complex ecosystem of the health sector can now gather around a secure, unified single platform that federates healthcare services and thereby represents a real accelerator for the benefit of the patient and the community."
The project is international by nature: it takes into account the specific elements of the Luxembourg context including multilingualism, the large number of cross-border workers and the presence of a Portuguese community that stretches beyond the Greater Region. This particular context in Luxembourg led the creators of the eHealth platform to interact, discuss and share information with Germany, France and Belgium. Beyond the 530,000 inhabitants of Luxembourg, the total number of potential patients that the project must address is 1,800,000 if the cross-border workforce in the Greater Region are included, which does not yet account for the large Portuguese community. Right from the beginning, this connects the project and the expertise it required to the Greater Region and supports its eventual export to all of Europe.
"The ambition of EBRC is not limited to constructing a unifying project in Luxembourg. EBRC also aims at exporting the know-how and - why not - reproducing the same pattern that has been established in the banking world by building a kind of ecosystem of healthcare professionals", concludes the CEO of EBRC.
A Trusted partner to digitize Healthcare services
"EBRC has been awarded "Best HealthCare Advisory Firm " in the categories "IT" and "Organisation & Operations" at the Luxembourg Healthcare Summit 2014 as well as the "Best Cloud Services for the Public Sector Award" of the EuroCloud Luxembourg for its participation in the eHealth project", explains Yves Reding."
"Given the experience in the areas of banking, finance and e-commerce, meeting the requirements of the health sector was a logical next step for EBRC, in line with its strategy as a center of excellence for creating services with high added value throughout the management chain for sensitive information. As with financial matters, health is a delicate subject. Whether it be the IBBL (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg) or the DSP (Shared Care Record) information has to be accessible to those who need it and to them alone."