The continuing digitization of society is making digital services like mobile apps and portal solutions increasingly important. Even today there are numerous apps available in the areas of medicine, fitness, and health, as well as scores of health portals. Digital services can create new added values for patients if they are given access to medical data. By the same token, healthcare facilities benefit from easy access to patients, for example in a situation where a patient can supply valuable information via an app or portal in advance of a hospital stay. Organizations wishing to offer their patients this kind of access to digital services face the challenge of efficiently integrating various apps with different, sometimes proprietary interfaces into existing system landscapes so that patients will have secure access to those solutions.
Secure, data protection-compliant integration into hospital infrastructures
With ICW’s solutions it is not necessary to integrate each app into each hospital system individually. The ICW eHealth Suite offers a uniform, secure infrastructure for seamless and secure integration of mobile and web apps into a hospital’s existing system landscape. It provides the apps with a consolidated, de-duplicated data set and standardized interfaces. To access the electronic patient record, the patient is given a central user account, which they can set up and manage on their own using the Patient Onboarding module. The user account can be linked with the patient record by entering a PIN, which is generated in a given facility using a secure process and issued to the patient. Stored security questions are used to safeguard PIN entry against fraudulent use.
The account management function enables the patient to manage consents for transfer of data from the hospital to their patient record and to granularly control data access for the apps they use. The patient can revoke an app’s data access at any time and delete the data transferred from a given facility from their patient record.
Simple integration and interoperability with apps via HL7 FHIR and OAuth2/OpenID Connect
The App Connect module enables secure bilateral data exchange between mobile and web apps and the electronic patient record. Integration takes place via REST interfaces based on HL7 FHIR. Unlike the standards commonly used in healthcare today, such as HL7 V2 or DICOM, FHIR allows for easy (and therefore quick) integration of applications into the hospital’s system landscape, building bridges between hospital systems and the patient’s mobile apps.
The ICW solution supports the HL7 FHIR-based IHE profiles PDQm, PIXm, and MHD as well as dedicated FHIR resources, for example to retrieve appointments or for structured data exchange via questionnaires. Functions based on OAuth2/OpenID Connect are used for user authentication and authorization. Two-factor authentication can be added for additional security; various forms of 2FA are supported, such as apps and hardware tokens.
Access to documents, image data, and structured medical data
The Patient Portal module gives patients portal access to their electronic patient record, and thus meets the requirements of the patient’s right of access to their medical data in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The web interface can be used to view documents and image data in the patient record and to access structured medical data like lab results, medications, diagnoses, or immunizations. The Patient Portal module uses standards-compliant IHE interfaces to access the medical data stored in the patient record. Health information can easily be exported, e.g. to share it with others.
Patient portal can be tailored to hospitals
The Patient Portal provides numerous options for modification so that it will fit seamlessly into the organization’s visual image. The portal is easy to personalize, from fonts, logos, and colors to customized user interface design. Client-specific content, such as the terms and conditions, data protection policy, or legal notice, can also be incorporated easily. The portal can be used on mobile devices as well.
Active interaction with the patient via messaging and electronic questionnaires
Integratable value-adding services from the ICW eHealth Suite’s Collaboration Extensions can expand the patient portal and get the patient actively involved in treatment, so that they and their family become part of the treatment team. With the Secure Messaging module, the patient can use various integrated communication services to communicate with the service providers involved in their treatment, for example. The Integrated Forms module uses individualized electronic forms based on HL7 FHIR questionnaires to help compile administrative and clinical information, for example related to history or follow-up care.
Integration into the patient portal allows the patient to provide important treatment-relevant information in advance of a hospital stay or outpatient visit. Once the forms are released by the patient, they are stored in the patient record and thus are available to the treating physicians.
Integration with health records
Today there are numerous commercial vendors and health insurance providers offering personal health records that allow patients to store medical information in the cloud. Using communication standards and interface technologies, ICW’s eHealth Suite also enables standardized, patient-controlled integration of health records. Like the integration of mobile apps, this process is carried out using a uniform, flexible infrastructure.
Summary of benefits
- A common infrastructure for secure and data protection-compliant digital patient integration
- Modular concept for various digital patient services according to the client’s needs
- Simple integration and interoperability with apps via HL7 FHIR and OAuth2 / OpenID Connect
- Patient portal can be modified and personalized for the client
- Access to documents, image data and structured medical data
- Active interaction with patients via messaging
- Integration of individualized and standardized electronic questionnaires