We are reminded by Aurélie Rosemberg that “Medical informatics is all about sharing!” I had the great pleasure of interviewing Aurélie Rosemberg, who is in charge of eHealth for the French-speaking canton of Geneva in Switzerland.
Healthcare in Switzerland is managed by the cantons, hence the existence of the eHealth unit at the canton level. Geneva, both a city and a canton, is the largest city of the canton, with around 200 000 people or 40% of the canton’s population. The Geneva University Hospitals is one of the five university hospitals in Switzerland, and the largest one in the country.
Aurélie Rosemberg, head of this eHealth unit for the canton of Geneva in Switzerland, shared thoughts about her work and her upcoming talk at HIMSS Liège, the next HIMSS event in Europe.
HIMSS Liège, taking place in Belgium on March 28-29, and bringing together key European stakeholders, is organised in partnership with HIMSS Europe, the Liège University Hospital, and the University of Liège.
HIMSS Liège is “the” Health IT event for the Benelux and Northern France. Speakers represent both Europe and the US. A special visit of the Liège Teaching Hospital will complete the programme, whose sessions will be held in English, Dutch, and French.
Denise : Aurélie, please tell us about your role at the Geneva canton eHealth department.
AR: I was the first person to hold this position, which was created 2 ½ years ago. The main activity of my department is to help define the eHealth strategy and the rules of its governance at the canton level and then to ensure the development of our priorities. Our department works with both canton hospitals and for home care. We also collaborate with national authorities on the definition of national eHealth standards for Switzerland, and with the other French-speaking cantons, in the Suisse Romande region.
DS: How did you get involved in this career path?
AR: Looking back on it, I could say that I have been preparing for this job, step by step, without knowing that this particular opportunity would open up. I trained as an engineer in medical informatics at the Ecole Polytechnique Universitaire in Grenoble, which is not far from Switzerland, as you know. After that, I was a consultant working on complex healthcare projects and care networks, and I also got a degree in management from the Geneva business school, HEC. As you can imagine, the economics of eHealth is important to us as well.
DS: Tell us about your main project, the electronic medical record.
AR: The electronic medical record is a key operation for us. Our goal is for every patient in our canton to have an electronic medical record. The electronic record will improve care, avoid duplication and above all put the patient in the centre of the system. Neither the patient nor the professional will be obligated to use the electronic medical record. They must want to use it. The electronic record will give the patient access to all of his or her medical records and the patient in turn will give healthcare professionals access to the records. The professionals must also give their authorization to enter the system.
DS: How fast is your electronic medical record progressing?
AR: Currently, we have set up 25 000 records, and 1000 new ones are opened monthly.
DS: What will you present at HIMSS Liège?
AR: I will be presenting “my medical record” (named in french “MonDossierMedical.ch“) which is the name of our electronic medical record and the various other collaborative tools to facilitate the care of chronic patients. In addition to the patient record, we offer shared medication and care plans. The professional can set up a dynamic plan and a network for providing his or her patient with both medicines and care. The elder population sees the interest of this network and uses it, whether they see it online, or as a sheet of paper.
DS: What are you looking forward to at HIMSS Liège?
AR: The keyword is “sharing.” I’m really looking forward to sharing our experiences with European experts and hearing theirs. HIMSS Liège seems like the best place to be to find an expert with similar issues to mine… And in fact, medical informatics is all about sharing!