First master patient index in Switzerland

Zurich 02 June 2008After an extensive tender procedure, Hirslanden, a Swiss private clinic group, has opted for the master patient index in the professional suite offered by eHealth specialist InterComponentWare (ICW). The proven ICW solution for the integration of heterogenous hospital technology environments will be used in the 13 private clinics and 100 centres of excellence and specialized institutes of the Hirslanden group, making Hirslanden the first clinic group in Switzerland to use a master patient index solution.


The Hirslanden clinics already use modern IT systems to store the medical information of their patients. However, up to now, the information could only be used by the clinic where it was stored. During the development of the Hirslanden information system framework (HIS Framework), the need for and the importance of a master patient index (MPI) as a basic service for the ICT architecture had become apparent.

The MPI of the ICW Professional Suite now allows the Hirslanden clinics to establish a foundation for the reliable and secure exchange of medical information between their various facilities. The MPI aligns the master data from the various systems of the clinic group and, if they match, assigns it to a particular patient. This way, the medical information can later be consolidated in a virtual patient record that can be used by all facilities and that includes all treatments of a patient in any of the Hirslanden clinics.

The ICW solution does not require a replacement of the currently used systems, since existing standards such as HL7 are used for the information exchange. The MPI offers extremely high performance; tests have shown that it is able to provide stable response times of less than one second, even with 100 million patient data records and queries of up to 1000 concurrent users. This means that the solution can also be used for larger patient populations, including the implementation of the national Swiss eHealth Strategy.

"The Hirslanden private clinic group provides first class medical service and always focuses on the latest developments. This is why we also see ourselves as pioneers for innovative technologies; Hirslanden is the first clinic group in Switzerland to use a master patient index", explained Magnus Oetiker, Manager of Hospital Services of the Hirslanden private clinic group. "We chose the ICW Professional Suite, not only because it can improve the quality of our master data and support our framework, but also because it offers solutions for the exchange of medical information that can even support the implementation of the national eHealth strategy."

Martin Fuchs, CEO of InterComponentWare Switzerland, added: "I am pleased that our master patient index, which is already being used in Germany and the United States, will now also be used in Switzerland. This shows that our eHealth solutions can easily be adjusted to the special requirements of a country's health system and can thereby help improve the quality of medical information."

The Hirslanden-Kliniken is a private clinic group in Switzerland. The group continuously adapts its medical technology infrastructure to current developments. All clinics are well equipped with diagnostic tools and also offer interventional radiology. Computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are standard. The extremely well trained staff of the clinics offers individual care in a pleasant environment. The system of practitioners with hospital affiliation allows for a very wide scope of specialized medical services. Patients can select the physician they trust from more than 1300 certified physicians. By creating interdisciplinary medical teams (centres of excellence) in the most important medical disciplines, it is possible to provide patients with comprehensive medical care. Due to the latest surgical technologies and tools, the average hospitalization time in the clinics can be reduced to a minimum.

InterComponentWare AG (ICW) is an international eHealth specialist with locations in Germany, the United States, Austria, Switzerland, and Bulgaria. Its solutions for networking the various players in the health care system lastingly improve process-oriented communication and data integrity, and therefore also the quality of health care. Among other things, ICW develops and distributes software and hardware components for the health care IT infrastructure for electronic health cards, the LifeSensor personal health record as well as networking solutions for hospitals and physician offices.

As part of the bIT4health consortium, ICW provided important consulting services for the implementation of the electronic health card in Germany, is involved in the Austrian eCard project and has recently won the pilot project for the national health card in Bulgaria. In the United States InterComponentWare (ICW) has also formed ICW Labs, a Silicon Valley based R&D organisation focused on deepening ICW's use of leading technology as part of its eHealth solutions. ICW Labs will be headed by Thomas Odenwald, veteran SAP technology leader and visionary.

The new ICW Lab is chartered with expanding the ICW eHealth solution set, which delivers fully interoperable, secure and reliable communication of medical data and associated information throughout the United States. The new organisation will work in tandem with the ICW product management team also located in San Mateo, California. ICW's European development teams, operating from company headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, have been very successful in implementing eHealth solutions for all participants in the delivery of health care.

Thomas Odenwald brings extensive experience to his new post. At SAP, Thomas Odenwald held strategic positions such as founding director of SAP Labs India and was responsible for integrating cutting edge technologies such as open source, Green IT, Semantic Web, RFID and Sensor Networks into the SAP portfolio.

Jeremy Coote, CEO of InterComponentWare Inc., commented on the value ICW Labs will bring to the company's United States efforts: "Our European colleagues have moved quickly and with notable success into the eHealth marketplace. Having a dedicated Lab, headed by Thomas Odenwald and tasked with addressing country-specific needs, will increase our ability to share ICW's innovative technologies and extensive eHealth experience within the United States."

More company news is available in the VMW May 2008 article Successful launch of the electronic maternity pass pilot project.

Leslie Versweyveld

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