HIMSS annual survey finds renewed focus on patient empowerment, EMRs and health information exchange

When looking at digitising healthcare, the challenges that European countries are grappling with are vast. While the lack of political direction is one of the main concerns for eHealth professionals in Italy, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands are struggling to hire and retain the right specialists.

This is according to the findings of a new study published by HIMSS today, which looks to shed light on the priorities and challenges faced by European countries.

Earlier this week, Healthcare IT News caught up with Jörg Studzinski, director of research and advisory services at HIMSS, to talk about some of the trends uncovered, and what Europe needs to prioritise in order to digitise faster.

HITN: Why do you believe the Netherlands and the Nordics, including Estonia, are seen as leaders in EU digital health?

Studzinski: We have seen this pattern for many years now. Our study just reconfirms that countries like Estonia, Denmark, Sweden or the Netherlands are perceived to be leading in digital health. I believe many eHealth professionals have recognised that care providers as well as citizens in these countries have easier access to health related data. And that they make more meaningful use of these data, for example by enabling patients to access medical records, to easily renew prescriptions, receive alerts to be revaccinated. Or for care delivery organisations to provide virtual care services in rural areas and to collaborate better together across whole communities and regions.