Digitization in German clinics is better than expected

Neu-Isenburg. The Hospital Future Act (KHZG) has provided Germany with a good overview of the state of digital equipment in the country’s clinics. On Friday, the DigitalRadar consortium, which checked the online maturity survey, presented its first results.

According to DigitalRadar, the results are “solid” compared to other industrialized countries like Canada and Australia. As a result, significantly more German hospitals passed the – lower – digital maturity level 0 than in the two countries mentioned. The consortium is led by the EMRAM maturity level. The concept stands for Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model and is widely used internationally to make the state of digitization in clinics comparable.

According to the survey results, there is a need for development in the areas of clinical processes, information exchange, telemedicine and patient participation. According to the consortium, the transfer of structured data within hospitals and interoperability between prevailing software solutions can also be expanded.

The average result of the so-called DigitalRadar score of the German clinics is 33.25 out of a maximum of 100 points (max. 100). The lowest score is therefore 3.27 points, the highest score achieved is 63.87 points.

Broad unified benchmark

Nearly a third of German hospitals have met the core requirements of the international model with estimated maturity levels up to level 5 certification. The remaining 69% of clinics have good opportunities to achieve a higher score by driving digital solutions in the field of radiology, laboratory or cardiology.

Never has there been such comprehensive and uniform benchmarking around the world with the specific aim of measuring the digitization of a country’s hospital landscape and deriving needs to improve care.

The campaign was triggered by the fact that hospitals that wanted to apply for funding through the Hospital Future Act (KHZG) had to participate last year.

Recall: according to the KHZG, clinics will receive up to 4.3 billion euros for digitization projects. Participation was correspondingly high: 1,616 hospitals – 91% of the planned hospitals – completed the structured self-assessment between October and December 2021. In a second subsequent phase, a further survey should provide information on the effects of the funding in relation to grade digitization and improvement of assistance.

Thousands of grant applications have been submitted

In the “Digital Documentation” and “Patient Portals” funding areas alone, where DigitalRadar identified a significant backlog demand, more than 1000 funding applications were submitted. “As a result, we will greatly improve the digital maturity of German hospitals in the coming years,” said Thomas Renner, Deputy Head of the Department for Digitization and Innovation at the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).

The results showed that “hospitals in Germany are now well positioned to drive digital maturity in priority areas such as interoperability and patient participation,” said Professor Sylvia Thun, co-leader of the DigitalRadar project, according to the release. The “DigitalRadar” consortium was commissioned by BMG in 2021 to assess the hospital’s future fund.

The project partners are the HIMSS Europe organizations (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society), the Institute for Applied Health Services Research (inav), Lohfert & Lohfert, RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the University of St. Gallen. (eng)

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