DMP: enthusiasm in Alsace

Points of view | 15 Mar 2012
Point of view by Pascal Charles, independent doctor in Alsace.

The DMP is a key tool for care co-ordination, and has achieved a high degree of acceptance in Alsace, which results from a broad-based effort from everyone in the health sector. For independent doctors, it represents a way of working more effectively with healthcare facilities and the social care sector. We talk to one of them.
 
The national version of the electronic health record (DMP) is now open and accessible, and the aim is to share information between professionals and improve the service provided to patients.
 
The conditions in Alsace were ideal for involvement in the DMP project, given the fact that there has been an e-health GCS for some time. Personally, my daily medical work sparked my interest in the benefits of a computerised tool which can quickly obtain the patient's history and the results of the most recent investigations.
 
That’s why I was keen to get involved with the rollout of the DMP, as part of the team from the regional independent doctors' union, and then as part of the e-health GCS. Support from the regional health agency was crucial, via its institutional involvement but also because of its working groups and the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) as a high-priority area of strategy.
 
Currently, Strasbourg university hospital and the hospitals in Sélestat and Obernai, Saverne and Haguenau are connected to the DMP.
 
At the same time, the DMP has been rolled out to some independent doctors thanks to support from a team who visit doctors' offices to install and explain the tool, and also from companies that create interoperable software. Social care is also receiving attention, as expectations are high in this area. Our inter-regional meetings have enabled us to gauge interest in specialist office software that will help to quickly incorporate facilities that are not yet computerized. These facilities will be the priority target for the regional telemedicine project.
 
Our rollout strategy is now focused on areas that are centred on a hospital or an identified health network, or networks such as those for oncology, where we had already worked closely with the shared oncology record (DCC) rollout team.
 
For all that, the game is not yet over.
 
The enthusiasm of patients and the open-mindedness of professionals are definite assets.
 
Nevertheless, substance must be added to this medical record, in order to provide added value in management involving multiple professionals and for ease of use by practitioners.
 
The quality of the information in the DMP needs work if it is to meet professionals' expectations. Our aim in 2012 is therefore to incorporate readable laboratory test results into the DMP and to implement a shared imaging network.
 
This information will help professionals to take ownership of the DMP.
 
The entire Alsace DMP team is therefore looking forward to 2012 and beyond. There are major challenges, both in terms of the quality of service and in terms of demographics and organization.
 
These challenges will lead to innovative solutions for patients, to practical information and to therapeutic education and prevention.

ABOUT... 

Pascal Charles is a respiratory physician based in Strasbourg. He is a member of the Alsace regional independent doctors' union, and in this capacity is administrator of the Alsace health co-operation grouping (GCS) for e-health.
Extract from the ASIP Santé's Annual Report 2011.