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Physicians’ representatives reject digitization of healthcare in its current form

Several physicians’ associations have voiced criticism of the work of Gematik GmbH, which is responsible for digitizing the healthcare system. Above all, the top-down mentality, which does not give practices a say, is criticized.

Compulsory digitization not sensible

The compulsion to digitize in practices and other medical care facilities is viewed critically by physicians’ representatives. For example, Ralph von Kiedrowski, head of the professional association of dermatologists, commented on what he called the “dark side of digitization.” In concrete terms, von Kiedrowski says that the drive for digitization in the healthcare sector is partly taking place at the expense of the quality of care. In some cases, no consideration is given to the day-to-day business in the practices, and the functionality of the new systems to be introduced is not guaranteed in every case. For example, he reported on experiences according to which the reading in of the insurance card, which was completed in ten to twelve seconds before the introduction of various digital tools, now takes up to one minute – which means that valuable time is lost. The Professional Association of Pediatricians and Adolescents recently expressed a very similar view, criticizing the telematics infrastructure used to link practices, health insurers and other agencies as insufficiently tested.

Although von Kiedrowski accepts that the digital connection of 130,000 contract practices to health insurers and other bodies can hardly be completed smoothly, he believes it would make much more sense not to digitize as quickly as possible at any price, but to first ensure functionality and practicality. He also emphasizes the positive aspects of digitization in healthcare. In particular, he sees digital consultation hours or apps for determining individual skin cancer risk as an improvement in care.

Router exchange for telematics connection draws criticism

The order to replace the hardware routers needed for telematics connection has attracted particularly negative attention from physicians in private practice in the recent past. Due to a crypto-certificate that expired after five years, these are to be replaced across the board – which will lead to disruptions in the practices. C’t and the Federal Office for Information Security had noted in this regard that an extension of the certificates until 2025 was also possible. However, Gematik and the Federal Ministry of Health had rejected an examination of this option. The MEDI doctors’ association and the ENT professional association had spoken out in favor of stopping the exchange, while the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of Bavaria had even threatened to pull out of the telematics infrastructure.

Overall, the statements made by the medical professional associations show that digitization considerations in the healthcare sector have so far been quite one-sided and have bypassed the central figures, namely the general practitioners in their practices. Against this backdrop, the question also arises as to the goal with which digitization is being driven forward so vehemently if it is more likely to impair than improve care in its current form. Gematik was recently in the headlines when the Chaos Computer Club hacked the videoident procedure of the health insurance companies.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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Several physicians‘ associations have voiced criticism of the work of Gematik GmbH, which is responsible for digitizing the healthcare system. Above all, the top-down mentality, which does not give practices a say, is criticized. Compulsory digitization not sensible The compulsion to digitize in practices and other medical care facilities is viewed critically by physicians‘ representatives. … (Weiterlesen...)

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