The digitization of the SNS, an urgent priority for patients

The digitization of the SNS, an urgent priority for patients

EDITORIAL.- The digitization of the National Health System is an urgent priority for patients. Also, to guarantee greater effectiveness in care and prevention models, improving the efficiency, sustainability of the SNS and its quality of life. These have been some of the conclusions drawn by the experts at the XIV Health Forum organized by the Center for Public Policy and Government Studies of the University of Alcalá (CEPPyG), held in the Parliament of the Balearic Islands.

This forum, aimed at active politicians from the different Autonomous Communities, coincides with the theme recently exposed by the CEPPyG's Boehringer Ingelheim Economy and Health Observatory which, through its report "The digitalization of the National Health System", identifies the challenges and the opportunities that the SNS must face for its digital transformation process.

In this context, the Center has brought together experts (national and international) in various fields such as hospital management, care, insurance, education and patients, among others, to analyze in depth how digitization has contributed to controlling the pandemic.

These priorities are reflected in the "National Plan for Recovery, Transformation and Resilience" presented by the Government, which will allocate around 33% of Next Generation EU funds to digitization, as a result of the change that has been driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. 19, to the point of showing a digital revolution in the sector.

“The digitalization of the SNS should not only focus on reducing face-to-face care pressure, but rather produce higher quality care, based on more precise control of the evolution of the pathology, and offer a faster and more efficient response than Ultimately, it increases the quality of life and reduces hospitalizations and associated risks”, said Jesús María Fernández, founder and director of the health start-up Hiris Innovation Technologies.

The pandemic has put on the table strengths and weaknesses of our health system, “undoubtedly one of the best in the world in quality, equity, university and efficiency. But with notable areas for improvement, among which is betting on digital technologies and reorienting the healthcare model, improving the care of patients with chronic pathologies”, highlighted Diego Ayuso, general secretary of the General Nursing Council. "A change of model is necessary, prioritizing health promotion and disease prevention, moving from a reactive model to a proactive one, with special attention to patients with chronic pathologies -those who most need the health system- betting for family and community care, where nurses have a leading role as reference health professionals (specialists), and where the promotion of healthy lifestyle habits in the population, health and health education are priorities within the model assistance and care, this change in approach means investing in the primary level of care, and this in the long run can greatly optimize the costs of the SNS and make it more efficient and sustainable”, added Ayuso.


La digitalización del SNS, prioridad inaplazable para los pacientes

Among the challenges of digital transformation in the field of health, the management of chronic pathology stands out, for which the digitization of the SNS is an urgent priority. These patients present an atomized approach by specialties and various levels of care. “Those activities that can potentially be carried out telematically must be promoted. This would generate valuable information for better management of the patient, by the health professionals involved in their approach, in addition to including them in decision-making", said María Dolores Rubio, managing director of the Príncipe de Asturias University Hospital.

For her part, Carmen Mateo, director of the CEPPyG, has highlighted the importance of innovation and health going hand in hand. “Despite the difficulties that any change entails, we must maintain our course: open the system to the infinite possibilities offered by the new tools for intelligent treatment of health information. The Study Center will always bet on this type of initiative that allows the latest trends to be brought closer to society”, she stressed.

The President of Parliament, Vicenç Thomas i Mulet, highlighted the work carried out by the Study Center in the field of education. “Thanks to the analysis offered during the XIV Health Forum on the policies developed, I am convinced that its conclusions will be useful to face one of the challenges that the pandemic has made visible: the digital transformation in the field of health”

more nurses

In addition, during his speech, Diego Ayuso, general secretary of the General Nursing Council, wanted to highlight that “the shortage of nurses in our country is something that we have been denouncing from the CGE for many years, and that the pandemic has made it clear. The ratio of nurses per population in Spain is 5.9 nurses per 1,000 inhabitants, being in the tail of the countries of the European Union where the average is 8.6 nurses per 1,000 inhabitants and in primary care this deficit is It becomes more manifest with one nurse for every 2,000-2,500 citizens compared to one nurse for every 1,000 in the EU average”. Something to keep in mind, because, in his opinion, "nurses must play a major role in the digital transformation of care."

The case of Denmark

Denmark is the third country in the European Union with the highest percentage of digitization of its national health system, in fact, it is a long project in which they have been working for more than 25 years. This has allowed them to have an integrated, unified and secure system, which makes it easier for them, today, to monitor the patient in detail.

Lisbeth Nielsen, general director of The Danish Health Data Authority, a body dependent on the Ministry of Health of the Danish government, has explained in detail how this advance in the treatment of information has allowed them to better organize and coordinate in the face of the COVID crisis. -19. “Danish citizens have the possibility, through their mobile phone, to make appointments to carry out tests, receive the results directly on their phone, and book appointments to be vaccinated in centers close to their location. This has allowed exhaustive monitoring of the pandemic in our country.”

Likewise, Nielsen has highlighted how the high level of digitization of health information in Denmark has allowed them to identify critical processes in the system (risks, weaknesses, etc.), prevent cyber-attacks through the encryption of data on the network, have better control of incidents and emergencies, or discover security standards in information architecture. "It's not just about digitizing information or processes, it's a cultural change," the director stressed.

“We must bet on digital technologies, the health model requires that we effectively incorporate telemedicine and telecare, that it be possible to correctly monitor patients with chronic pathologies in their homes, promote home care through these technologies as a complement of direct and personalized attention, not substituting it. Primary health care and its professionals must be proactive, not reactive, and digital technologies can bring patients much closer to health professionals, facilitating control and monitoring of patients, using technologies that allow the monitoring of parameters such as blood glucose , blood pressure, oxygen saturation, wound surveillance, control of adherence to treatments, etc., facilitating the patient-health professional relationship, improving the quality of care and this is currently poorly developed”, he highlighted. the general secretary of the General Nursing Council. “All this means investing, investment in health must reach the average of the EU countries 9.6% of health spending compared to GDP, Spain is at 8.8% (public + private). This investment should be dedicated to a greater commitment to PC (15% of health spending compared to GDP in Spain and in the EU average it represents between 20-25%) and investment in digital technologies, such as telecare or history unified electronic clinic”, has ended.

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