Prof. Asena Serbezova: From June 1, everything in outpatient care is digitized

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Prof. Asena Serbezova: From June 1, everything in outpatient care is digitized
Prof. Asena Serbezova: From June 1, everything in outpatient care is digitized

Digitalization of he althcare will make the system transparent, improve process management, optimize public spending and bring practical benefits to all participants - from the patient, through medical specialists, to the people who lead the he alth policy. This conclusion united the participants in the "Digital He alth" conference, which was held in the "John Atanasov" hall of "Sofia Tech Park".

We are publishing the presentation of the Minister of He alth Prof. Asena Serbezova on the topic "He alth care in light"

“Digital he althcare has been a dream for two decades. But there is now the political will to make it happen. Its main role is to make he althcare processes transparent, to illuminate them. Minister Serbezova began her presentation. - The data will be aimed at society, the information will be reliable and understandable, it will give an idea of the quality and efficiency of the he alth care system, and of the patients' experience with the system.

Transparency in he althcare means having information about costs, effectiveness and quality of treatment. In this way, we can influence the behavior of all interested parties - patients to be more responsible in complying with therapy; of medical specialists in compliance with treatment protocols, in the dispensing of medicinal products, with the decisions of the executive and legislative authorities. Timely and reliable digital he alth data can be relied upon to drive processes. Because for many years we managed processes that we had no way of knowing in their entirety and completeness.

When the data is not digitized, when we do not have the possibility to follow everything in the he alth system from the beginning to the end and in its cyclicality, we do not really know the processes.

What are the effects of digital he althcare

First, for patients to make informed choices, because then they will be sympathetic to their treatment, will follow the doctor's advice and will help to achieve the therapeutic goals. This will improve the quality, safety and efficiency of he althcare.

And when better results are achieved, everyone is happy – doctors, pharmacists and he alth care professionals will be more successful and respected; patients will have a better quality of life; legislators will know whether their decisions are achieving their goals.

Sometimes a very good effect in treatment is achieved only with appropriate organizational changes. Transparency in the system will increase trust in it, as well as between patient and medical professional. Doctors will develop professionally and be motivated because they will work in a favorable environment.

It is clear that digitalization leads to greater transparency of processes in the he althcare system. We are currently changing the system to be transparent. For the first time, there will be transparency and traceability in both directions - verification of the he alth file by the patient and of the hospital and outpatient activities by the He alth Insurance Fund. In this way, both the quality of he alth care and control will be improved.

There will be real-time visibility of what is happening in the system. For example, it will be known how many free beds there are in hospitals. In recent years, there have been many cases of ambulances going around hospitals to find free beds for the patients they are transporting.”


Prof. Asena Serbezova

Implementation timelines

In stages, by August 2022, the electronic he alth record will cover all activities in outpatient care and in hospitals. In three months, a regulatory framework was created, and the implementation of electronic he alth care in the country was technically ensured. From June 1, the documents in outpatient medical care - referrals and outpatient lists - will be digitized, and from August 1 - all activities in hospitals, history of the disease, examinations, tests, results.

Everyone with he alth insurance will be able to check the results of their examinations, assigned medical tests, prescribed medicines in their electronic file, as well as be able to receive electronic prescriptions. This means that the patient can control the system. The patient is most interested in controlling the quality of his treatment and the veracity of his he alth record.

The benefits for patients

Prevention is increasing and the personalized approach in medicine is being introduced. Telemedicine is being developed and access to medical care is being created even for people who live in hard-to-reach areas and have specific he alth needs. Innovative applications can be used to monitor the condition of patients - for prevention and during post-operative recovery.

Digitalization also brings enormous benefits to the he althcare system. It will be possible to make the right medical decisions and improve the quality of he alth services. Remote he alth services will also be able to be provided. Hospitals, clinics and medical practices will be integrated and cooperation between them will be improved. This will also entail changes in medical education.

It also benefits the public's he alth education. In a society of citizens, professionals and adolescents with high digital maturity, a single base for training on he alth topics will be available. That's what we're missing right now. The he alth care system is not just about treating diseases.

First of all, she must protect her he alth, be preventive. Education has an essential role in this direction. In addition, he alth policies will be based on credible data at the national level and the he alth care model will shift from a hospital- and doctor-centered to a patient-centered model.

The benefits for the medical professional

“We free the doctor from filling out forms on paper, from storing them in boxes. In addition, with the methods of digital he alth care, we will assist the doctor in making diagnoses. Facilitates research and frees up quality time for patient history taking.

The electronic prescription is just the beginning of digital he althcare. Because through the programs with which drugs are prescribed, information is also entered that helps to check the accuracy of doses, drug interactions, the presence of allergies to drugs, to remind about generic alternatives. At a more global level, this information can be used to understand how drugs are administered and how national drug policy is implemented. Two million people already use the e-prescription. 14.5 million e-prescriptions filled.

Digitalization processes are gaining speed. An annex to the National Framework Agreement on the introduction of digitization in he althcare and the mandatory use of electronic documents in hospital and pre-hospital care has already been signed. Construction of a digital platform for storage and access to medical images from imaging diagnostics is underway, Serbezova summarized.


With an application on the phone we keep track of our medical record

Through the new "E-he alth" mobile application, each of us will be able to access our electronic he alth record. "A public testing campaign will be announced soon, and everyone will be able to contribute to the improvement and expansion of the application," announced Boris Kostadinov, Deputy Director of "Software Integrations" in "Information Service" at the conference.

The file provides data on blood type, chronic diseases, allergies - with the possibility of reporting by both the doctor and the patient himself. The GP's phone number is also recorded. In the file, you can see information about every examination performed, referrals issued, therapy prescribed, medicines that are dispensed under the National He alth Insurance Scheme, etc. Also includes the COVID vaccinations, as well as all other immunizations.

“The National He alth Information System records every action that is done with the patient file, and if the patient notices something wrong, he can contact the institutions for verification,” Kostadinov said.