A key investment area is cyber security, as public institutions are subject to increasing cyber-attacks , Source: Arseny Togulev / Unsplash

Hamburg invests 92 million euros in hospital digitalisation

Hamburg invests 92 million euros in hospital digitalisation

The funds will help healthcare facilities develop tools to shorten waiting times and to help patients be more informed about their treatment

Yesterday, authorities in Hamburg announced they will invest 92 million euros into digitalising the city’s medical services in hospitals. The investment will be in addition to the standard funding and, according to a statement by the city, will lead to an intensified patient-doctor relationship, increasing the quality of medical care.

One key area of investment that city officials point to is cyber security, in addition to digital infrastructure. The more digital parts any system has, the more vulnerable it is to cyber-attacks and in recent years, these have been getting more and more frequent. Having a robust security system, then, is a must for any government service, especially one as sensitive as hospital care.

Reducing waiting times and bringing people closer together

In 2020, the pandemic caught a lot of medical authorities off guard and the digital capabilities of many healthcare systems were thoroughly tested. The situation highlighted the importance of digitalisation, promoting the German government to pass the Hospital Future Act (Krankenhauszukunftsgesetz) in 2020. Under the policy, the Federal Government would provide 4.3 billion euros to help hospitals develop digital tools.

The new funding scheme for Hamburg’s hospitals will be distributed among the city’s hospitals to finance specific projects that need to be in one of eleven domains. They include modern emergency capacities, IT security, patient portals and digital medication management.

A critical point of the push for digitalisation is to reduce waiting times for documents for treatment. This, authorities say, will help medical staff focus more on the actual treatment and care.   

Additionally, the funding should help to establish a digital patient portal to enable digital admissions and discharge management. This would make the bureaucratic process in medical facilities much smoother and faster, as well as reduce communication errors. Additionally, it would allow patients to be more involved in their own treatment, increasing healthcare quality.

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