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Hospital Information System (HIS)

Hospitals are arguably among the most important medical facilities that handle countless sensitive personal data on a daily basis. Every day, various examinations are performed, patients are treated, reports are written, test results are evaluated and much more.

With such a confluence of disparate data and information – especially when dealing with sensitive personal data – ensuring security and maintaining a clear structure is a top priority.

Hospital information systems represent the valuable core of this indispensable priority.

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What is a hospital information system?

But what exactly is a hospital information system – or HIS for short? A wide variety of systems and techniques are used in a hospital to process information. Hospital information systems simply describe the totality of all information and communication technologies that serve to record, process and pass on both medical and administrative data within a hospital.

A HIS is therefore not a single software product, but a collection of different tools used for data and information management in a facility. The agents can come from different manufacturers. However, they all have one thing in common: they are computer-based. Hospital information systems are therefore used on a wide variety of end devices, such as laptops, tablets or even smartphones – all forms of data transfer are included in an HIS.

What are the functions of a hospital information system?

Hospital information systems are diverse and very complex. As digitization continues to advance and new technical possibilities emerge, HIS are also expanding more and more. Basically, however, they serve to improve communication between the employees of a hospital and to organize and control all work processes in the facility.

Thus, hospital information systems perform the following tasks:

  • the management of patient master data and case data
  • the backup, modification and clear presentation of all information and data
  • the prescription of examinations and treatments (or-entry)
  • the management and documentation of examination results
  • The creation of documents, such as doctor’s letters or surgery reports, on the basis of previously collected data
  • the precise writing down of contributions in kind

However, the main focus of the functions is the collection of disease data, the documentation and planning of medical and nursing activities, and the preparation of medical reports and letters.

In addition, HIS classify case data for billing to health insurance companies, health insurers and self-payers. This classification takes place according to the ICD code and the medical services provided according to the OPS code or the DRG flat rates per case. This data is then used for cost unit calculations.

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Legal examination

The advancing digitalization already mentioned is constantly expanding the limits of technical possibilities and is also making hospital information systems more and more complex. Some HISs, for example, have advanced functions and can carry out semi-automated therapy planning, warn of interactions between different medications, or even alert doctors as soon as measured values fall into an alarming range.

At this point, the question rightfully arises as to what extent a hospital information system can be considered a medical device. Manufacturers of HIS must therefore have it legally examined whether their solutions are to be classified as medical devices. If this is the case, they fall within the scope of the MDR (EU Medical Devices Directive).

Particularly high level of protection when handling medical data

A basic distinction can be made between two different types of data that are stored and managed by hospital information systems: medical and administrative data.

Administrative data includes all data on inventory and materials. Medical data, on the other hand, includes master data, medical services, and disease data. This data is subject to a particularly high level of protection, as it is sensitive personal data that requires particularly careful handling.

Therefore, data protection standards must always be observed, data protection regulations must be followed, and legal framework conditions must be adhered to. Unauthorized persons must be prevented from accessing medical data in any case. This can be made possible by assigning certain roles to the employees of a hospital. Thus, they can only access the data they need by means of an access authorization.

In the event of an emergency, however, each and every employee must be able to quickly access all data by means of an emergency access authorization. However, this must be strictly logged in any case.

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Advantages of hospital information systems

Hospital information systems thus offer many different benefits and are a valuable asset to hospitals in many ways. We have summarized the most important advantages for you here:

  • Information moves quickly from one location to the next (departments, stations)
  • More efficient work structures are created through automated work steps
  • thanks to digital patient records, data is also easier to access for patients

Clear, fast and secure with Probatix

With the help of Probatix, you too can bring more structure, efficiency and security to your hospital. We are dedicated to supporting medical facilities in all aspects of medical laboratory diagnostics and are the perfect solution for you if you are looking for security, reliability and structure.

Probatix can be easily and flexibly connected to your existing HIS and thus goes beyond the standards of conventional HIS. Our software supports you sustainably, reliably and securely in all areas of work.

Put an end to erroneous data, delayed work steps and confusing systems and benefit from our innovative technology!

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