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Improving financial efficiencies and patient care through new “eHealth” technologies

Date

18 Mar 2010

Sections

Health & Consumers

18 March 2010

- Global accountancy body calls for more EU coordinated action to invest in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the health environment-

The introduction of advanced electronic Health - or eHealth technologies in large hospitals can improve efficiency, reduce financial costs, and deliver a significant return on investments, according to the findings of a recent research entitled Collaboration and communication technology at the heart of hospital transformation published by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) in collaboration with the European Commission.

The report's findings were announced exclusively during the European Union’s annual High Level eHealth Conference that took place in Barcelona on 15-18 March 2010.

The study shows that since the deployment of the new technology, patients spend significantly less time waiting for treatment, while doctors have increased their available time for direct patient care time by around 40 minutes per day. This improves both patient and staff satisfaction.

“This report provides important food for thought as many useful lessons can be drawn in addressing the challenges Europe faces in delivery of safe, efficient, high quality and accessible healthcare for all citizens” said Florin Lupescu, Director of ICT Addressing Societal Challenges at DG INFSO and author of one of the forewords of the report.

“In an era of ageing populations and escalating modern healthcare costs, research of this nature - based on sound clinical and economic evidence - sets out a roadmap for policy makers that there are significant benefits both in terms of patient care and cost effectiveness to be realised from the increased use of e-health technologies, said ACCA’s Vice-President Dean Westcott.

The EU is in the middle of a healthcare revolution, but while this “‘eHealth” approach is becoming an indispensable aspect of efficient and effective healthcare management in Europe, efforts to consolidate an EU-wide approach have so far been fragmented and experimental. It is estimated that spending on eHealth worldwide stands at only around 2% of healthcare expenditure, yet it has the potential to reduce inefficiencies inherent in the healthcare environment by as much as 25 – 40%.

“The European Commission has been instrumental over the past decade in promoting eHealth policies, stressed Dean Westcott, “but a sustained increase in the level of ICT investments now requires the co-operation of all stakeholders in following a realistic strategy for the deployment of e-health technologies” Dean Westcott added.

“The real challenge is the financial commitment from Member States through a coordinated approach to invest in ICT in the health environment” he concluded.

“Initiatives such as this one will help pave the way towards the implementation of a EU -wide e health architecture”, said Bulgarian MEP Parvanova, the author of the other report’s foreword. “I am convinced that accurate and relevant empirical research is an essential part of the process. The acute financial analysis that is presented in the findings of this study demonstrate that the use of new technology has improved the overall patient experience”, MEP Parvanova added.

- ends -

For further information, please contact:

Cecile Bonino

tel:+32 (0) 2 286 11 37

mob: +44 (0) 7809595008

cecile.bonino@accaglobal.com

Notes to Editors

1) The study entitled Collaboration and communication technology at the heart of hospital transformation is available at http://www.accaglobal.com/documents/CCT.pdf

2) ACCA is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. We have 362,000 students and 131,500 members in 170 countries worldwide.

3) ACCA has worked with governments, national organisations and development agencies in emerging economies- for over 20 years- promoting the accounting profession, to create value for the communities, businesses and individuals it serves.

4) ACCA believes that globalisation of business means that one set of reporting standards is essential. We favour the principles-based IFRS.

5) ACCA understands the real issues facing small businesses as 63,000 of our members work in SMEs or small partnerships worldwide.
 

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