By Eneya Georgieva
The hospitals that do not switch to modern work methods achieve far lower results than their potential. These differences come from developing digital solutions and optimising many processes through the implementation of new technologies. Old hospital information systems cannot offer the speed and flexibility that modern doctors need. This is one of the reasons leading to inefficient use of budgets and human capital.
A hospital’s decision to continue working this way prevents it from making the most of the equipment it works with and isolates it from other players in the sector. Because of such policies, patients go from one door to another and take on a huge (and unnecessary) bureaucratic burden. Examples of this are visits to laboratories and the steps after the generated results. The papers are brought to the doctor; he prescribes therapy or another treatment plan, which leads to a third or even fourth location. Therefore, The lack of synchronized databases between healthcare institutions in the sector hinders the work of everyone in the chain – hospitals, medical centers, patients, insurance companies and even governments.
“Mass hospital information systems in Bulgaria are out of date “, said Miroslav Ivanov, manager and partner of the software company Aptuso. The company is a creator of an innovative product for structuring hospital processes MedicFrame. “The market is monopolised and over 60% of the capabilities of the most widespread systems in our country are proven unnecessary. And through the working functionalities, there is no easy access to the information that the specialist needs to make informed and effective decisions”, explains Ivanov, who is also one of the founders of Digital Health and Innovations Cluster Bulgaria.
Too obvious to be denied
The advent of technology in recent years has provided new opportunities for the healthcare sector. For example, automation allows medical structures to increase their efficiency significantly. With one click, several related processes are performed simultaneously without having to waste time and effort. Thus, they no longer repeat the same type of action over and over again which overwhelms their daily medical activities. This allows them to pay more attention to their patients, to review more data and to make a faster and more effective decision on the diagnosis and treatment. The result is measured in significantly lower costs and opportunities for the development of evidence based science. The medical data generated by MedicFrame contribute to the discoveries in the field of oncohematological diseases and their prevention.
The systems that give access to all the necessary information to a health facility, optimise the entire activity of the organisation, so the processes in it become many times more flexible. To ensure first-hand the benefits of the new technology, in early 2021 the National Specialized Hospital for Active Treatment of Hematological Diseases in Sofia contacted Aptuso.
The software company builds a 100% web-based platform that is fully integrable and intuitive. The complete hospital information system is based on structured data and planning algorithms. Thus, Aptuso covers the hospital’s needs and the results appear between the fourth and the sixth months. All financial flows become easy to track, stocks are optimised by over 60%, according to MedicFrame. The dally based work of health professionals is also changing and there is no more waste of time searching for data that already exists. For example, performing a blood transfusion costs between 18 and 20 minutes. Today, this process was shortened to 2 minutes.
Innovation happens because….
Since entering the market, Aptuso has ensured data integrity and security. In addition, the software company requires an ethical exchange in healthcare management from the regional to the global level. The results prove better care for people.
“Our mission is to create a patient-centered care model, working with a complete set of patient data. When we focus our energy in the right direction, we will achieve more in the treatment of patients and even more, we will improve prevention”, says Ivanov.
He gives an example of the development of information systems in countries with an ageing population. His observations show that Western Europe, the Scandinavian countries and Estonia managed to work with patients before even developing the disease. Thus, caring for the population precedes the deterioration of its health. This saves significant financial resources of the state due to the prevention of costly hospitalization, inconvenience to the patient and reduces the workload of specialists in the sector.
In order to contribute to the implementation of this model in Bulgaria in November 2018, Ivanov is taking a decisive step. As a result, the software company Aptuso and ten other Bulgarian technological companies in healthcare, pharmacy, education and cybersecurity founded the Digital Health and Innovations Cluster Bulgaria.
“In Bulgaria, we needed an organisation that would unite, at first glance, different companies in one ecosystem. Today, the cluster can meet the demand for all services and products that healthcare needs. Moreover, it gives a good future-oriented vision for the development of the market in the coming years and encourages innovation”, said Miroslav Ivanov.