Allocution de Lydia Mutsch à l’occasion de la Conférence annuelle de l’AEMH "eHealth in Hospital Care"

Discours – Publié le

"Dear AEMH members, distinguished professors and physicians, Ladies and Gentlemen,  

Let me start by saying how pleased I am to welcome you in Luxembourg for the annual meeting of the European Association of Senior Hospital Physicians.

My motivation to welcome today’s event could not be higher, as hospital management and leadership are currently on Luxembourg Parliament’s agenda, with debates about our Hospital Law project. Let me quote you here, Mr President (Dr Joao de Deus): in your last Newsletter, you wrote that the European Association of Senior Hospital Physicians’ fields of expertise are "Hospital management based on quality and safety with a larger involvement of doctors, working conditions of hospital doctors, and clinical leadership".

So your statement resonates with the guiding principles of our Law project, currently being debated at the parliament, as we are aiming for an improved, sound hospital management, better defining roles, responsibilities and duties of physicians and management, and improving transparency for quality management and decision making.

You understand therefore how happy I am that so many senior physicians gather today in Luxembourg to exchange on hospital management based on quality and safety, on best ways to involve doctors and develop clinical leadership, and on strategies to retain and foster competences while preserving quality of life. Such fruitful exchanges will, with no doubt, inspire our senior physicians in the implementation of the coming Hospital Law.  

But let me talk now about the programme of today’s conference: eHealth in hospital care in 2017. eHealth has been high on Luxembourg’s agenda for several years now. Under the umbrella of the “Digital Luxembourg Strategy”, the current government strives indeed to create the most propitious environment for the growth of the ICT sector.

In 2015, I have launched the pilot phase of the Shared Electronic Patient Record with the minister in charge of social security, accompanied by an important communication effort aiming at highlighting the added value of sharing health data.

We have advanced many arguments in this context to win the patients and healthcare professionals over. To name just a few of these arguments we relied on: 

  • Sharing health data allows for more coherent and efficient healthcare,
  • It enables a better follow up of the medical treatment
  • It helps the patient to become empowered, self-determined and actively involved in the medical decisions around its health: it puts the patient into the centre!
  • It contributes to medical progress and a better healthcare system all together.

It is of course vital to offer the necessary guarantees of data protection to the patient.

This is the reason why we have chosen to apply the internationally recognized ISO Norm "27001" to the information security management, one of the highest references in the field of data security. We must make sure that the security standards can be adapted to future developments because health technology is an extremely dynamic and an ever evolving field.

But Data Protection must not hinder clinicians to work. Data Protection needs to be "care-supporting". As an example, an interdisciplinary group set up by our National Cancer Plan is currently working on the design and implementation of a "Carnet radiologique électronique", a national Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) allowing the exchange of imaging prescriptions, images, reports and radiation doses at national level.   

This system will allow each medical provider to seamlessly access the imaging history and results of the patients under his or her care, hence supporting clinical decisions and prescriptions.

Another area where eHealth and digitalisation bring added value for physicians in the hospitals is in its capacity to generate aggregate data reflecting on practices and results, giving medical and professional teams the opportunity to measure the quality of their care, setting new targets, and engage together in a common journey of shared and continued learning and improvement in patient quality and safety.  

As clinicians need Data Protection to be care-supporting, researchers need Data Protection to be "research-enabling". We have put into place an interdisciplinary working group together with the Luxembourg research community in order to ensure an application of the European Regulation on General Data Protection that is both research enabling and securing patients’ interests.   

I believe that patients and hospital care providers are ready for the paradigm shift which has been initiated by the Information Technology in the hospital landscape as well as in the primary care. It is our duty to make sure that our community will benefit from eHealth and its related applications, improving quality and safety of health care, reducing premature mortality and the burden of diseases. Thank you for your attention."