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Monday 23.07.2018 | Name days: Magda, Magone, Mērija
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Latvian minister promises e-health system to be made helpful to doctors

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIn two months the e-health system will become an ‘assistant, not an obstacle’ to doctors, promises Healthcare Minister Anda Čakša.

She admits being dissatisfied with the speed of e-health system, especially because nearly four months have passed since the start of e-health system’s adoption.

At the same time, the minister says that all efforts will be dedicated to improving the system’s functionality to make sure the state health insurance system is functional by January 2019.

Čakša says it is clear for the ministry that there is a lot left to do to improve e-health. International experts have been called in to assist. «Imagine a system that was planned ten years ago at different thinking speeds and volumes […]. We have adapted many things since then,» comments Čakša.

As for possible protests from family physicians, Čakša says that the ministry keeps in close contact with doctors and listens to their complaints. The ministry has a whole list of measures recommended by doctors and hospitals. The minister is also actively involved in activities aimed at improving the system’s functionality and searching for the best solutions.

Often interruptions of the e-health system were recorded last week. National Health Service Evija Štālberga explains that the system was designed ten years ago and is already outdated. This means there is a lot of room for improvements.

Latvian Family Doctors Association reports that doctors’ patience with the system is coming to an end. With that, there are proposals to start a strike.


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  1. Andris says:

    This is a poison chalice to the health budget sold by smart IT companies. the evidence from other countries which have tried to go down this path is that the costs continue to rise exponentially at a rate much higher than the index of other health inputs. Good luck!

  2. Zerry says:

    The development should be done in cooperation with doctors and other users instead of nerdies and faceless persons of ministry. Already from the beginning and not only after this kind of failure.
    New implememnted system is very slow in practise and inner communication is not working. A lot of wasted doctors´ working time.

    • Andris says:

      Zerry,

      Your comments reflect the experience we are currently having in South Australia. Unfortunately talking to the doctors is not enough to beat down the technocrats pushing “slick” solutions. Canada has had a similar very expensive implementation. Perhaps the message to health ministry apparatchiks is that health, illness and in particular chronic disease is not a part of our life that lends itself – yet – to the digital age.

      For example – I have worked in the area of mental health and addictions and yes some aspects of efficient communication are helpful but after seeing a client/patient several things occur. First, you make some early time sensitive conclusions and recordings. Second, you walk away and see the next person but some time later your cognitive processes return to the first client/patient and the nuances help build on the assessment and in the context of comorbidities, the diagnoses. Yes, you can go back and change an e-record but the relationship between ‘treater’ and patient record is not in the same quality. [Let’s not talk about system crashes and outages!]

      Such systems are complex and can not be be built or introduced on a ‘blitzkrieg’ basis. What would be useful as a first step is a unique national patient identifier code that links into primary, secondary and tertiary care including health focussed NGOs as well as pharmaceutical dispensaries. The engagement of people to the health systems is far more complex than bureaucrats think.

      Anyway, as i said. Good luck.

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