Towards clarification of health information systems leadership

Points de vue | 14 Mar 2012
Points of view of Jérôme Duvernois, president of LESISS and director of strategy at Softway Medical.

Input from ASIP Santé is now an essential prerequisite to consistent development of health information technologies. The multitude of differing voices in the health information systems sector is gradually becoming a thing of the past. There is now an interoperability framework, created together with specialist companies, for which enforceable provision is made in the legislation. The unified directories that are required for secure information sharing have now reached maturity. A general security policy is currently being drawn up, and this should contain a framework of rules which conform to usability requirements. The agency's assessment of the production schedule is very positive, but delivery of current and planned projects does not receive such a glowing assessment. Why?

Ambitious managers of technology projects are aware that the recipe for success is well-known: integrated governance, clear strategy and objectives, and appropriate resources. However, in the health and social care field, these elements are not all present. In hospitals, information systems are not seen as a tool for efficiency by leadership teams. Similarly, the competing projects that make up the electronic health record (DMP) as laid down in the law of 13 August 2004 and the computerized aspect of "P4P" in the national health insurance system send mixed messages and raise the issue of a lack of coherence, in the face of political indifference. Finally, in terms of resources, our worn-out subsidy model cannot dispense with a process of collective deliberation about appropriate funding, which should be undertaken urgently and in which no subject should be off the table for discussion. With such a confused background, we should not be surprised that progress of these projects has been glacially slow.

From this gloomy picture, one very positive feature emerges concerning the initiatives begun by some in this market: specifically community pharmacists, who have had great success with their pharmaceutical record (DP). Similarly, the paramedical professions are joining forces, including independent nurses, for whom the French strategic analysis centre recently stressed the importance of computerized patient records. In addition, professional orders have recently given their views about electronic prescribing, which for the last twenty years has merely provided occasional amusement for the press. Likewise, LESISS (the federation of health and social care information systems companies) has not been idle, and has over several months published a series of practical contributions. The newly created commission for e-health aims to bring its members and partners together to move these projects past the merely decorative stage.

Together with a health information systems strategy delegation (DSSIS), which will be provided with resources commensurate with its missions and ambitions, and with the support of regional health agencies (ARS), these initiatives by those involved in the market may provide the impetus our country needs if it is to achieve the position it deserves on the international stage.

About...

The LESSIS federation was set up in 2005 by around twenty business leaders, and now has more than 120 members. LESISS brings together most health information technology and homecare firms. Major multinational companies and experienced SMEs work together to create tools to enable greater fairness in access to the healthcare systems for all our fellow citizens. They also work with representatives of healthcare professionals and patients' associations. These tools, which are based on information and communication technologies, aim to reduce the divide in access to health, and are an essential element in the creation of export capacity. (www.lesiss.org)
Extract from the ASIP Santé's Annual Report 2011.