The electronic health record (DMP): the stages of the project

DMP | 21 Jun 2010
At the end of the tendering procedure undertaken within the framework of the "DMP hosting" contract, the construction of the DMP began in March 2010. The objective is to have the first version in place by the end of 2010.

A new impetus for the DMP project 

Following lengthy preparatory work, the consortium of businesses led by the ATOS Origin and LA POSTE groups has been chosen to produce the first version of the DMP. This preparatory work initially made it possible to draft new project specifications which were published in October 2009. The candidates' responses were received in December 2009 and, after detailed and meticulous analyses, the best proposal was selected in March 2010. It was then possible to begin working with the selected consortium, with the ambitious objective of producing the first version of the DMP (called DMP 1) by the end of 2010.

A complex IT project 

This is a wide-ranging IT project made up of four principal information systems.
  1. The principal IT system is of course the DMP IT system. This is the at the heart of the project, and will make it possible to create, add to and consult electronic health records. Healthcare professionals (with the patient's permission) and the patient will be able to consult and add to the DMP. This complex project is itself composed of several sub-projects, since the DMP must be accessible through different channels – via an internet browser, and in the form of web services enabling healthcare professionals to integrate the DMP into their normal work environment. If patients give their consent, their DMP will also be interfaced with external data sources such as their health insurance reimbursement history and their pharmaceutical file. They must also be interfaced with  health professional card (CPS) systems so that healthcare professionals can be reliably authenticated.
  2. The project also includes the implementation of a dedicated DMP communications portal, which will make a vast amount of information available to patients and healthcare professionals. Information pages, testimonies, graphics and videos will provide answers to common questions: e.g. why create DMPs? Who can create them? Who can access them? How are they accessed? How do you add to them?
  3. A support information system will also be implemented for the user support team. This will allow hotline staff to input questions from users, be they simple requests for information, questions about problems using the DMP, or reports of technical malfunctions. The statistical information fed back by this system will provide a real-time view of the questions asked and difficulties encountered by users.
  4. Finally, a management information system will allow a variety of statistical information fed back by the three information systems mentioned above to be aggregated, giving the ASIP Santé teams a complete picture of how the project is operating. This information will provide them with real-time knowledge of the number of DMPs open, the number of users and views, the number of documents entered into the system, the level of information sharing, the load on the servers, incidents detected, etc, to enable rapid responses to any faults and above all to anticipate how the system will evolve in order to better support it.

An ambitious timetable 

The DMP1 project should be operational and accessible to users by the end of 2010. From that point on, it will be rolled out in stages, in a coordinated manner, with all of the partners involved (patients and healthcare professionals, publishers of software for healthcare professionals, healthcare institutions, regional digital health environments, technical platforms, etc). For the publishers, the DMP should be an opportunity to provide new services to their clients [insert link to the NJA article].
The construction work on DMP1 is split into projects, and a number of intermediate deliverables will be ready as early as mid-2010:
  • End of June 2010: provision of DMP compatibility technical specifications, which will enable publishers to develop the software required to interface with the DMP.
  • August 2010: provision of a development kit containing some sample code and testing tools, so that the publishers can test the software they have developed. 
  • November 2010: implementation of the DMP compatibility procedure, to allow publishers to attest that their software can be integrated with the DMP and that it can therefore provide a quality service for users.
Other intermediate deliverables will allow the accessibility and simplicity of the user interfaces to be tested, and ensure that technically, the system is operating as it should. From a project point of view, each information system follows a classic cycle, with a design phase, a development phase, an operational and technical acceptance phase, and then an implementation phase. The tests conducted will guarantee that the product delivered complies with user expectations, that it functions reliably and securely, and that it is capable of absorbing a substantial load increase. Once version 1 of DMP 1 has been produced, it will be possible to start producing new versions to improve or enhance the way the application functions.
A large team has now been mobilized to ensure that the operational implementation of this major project is a success.