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10.2012 - Interview with Luciano Bastoni, General Manager of Arsenàl.IT, on the forthcoming regional Electronic Health Record

We propose an interview to Luciano Bastoni, General Manager of Arsenàl.IT, who explains the importance of the project Regional Electronic Health Record and the role that the Consortium will play in its development.

Why is the regional Electronic Health Record so important in the Veneto Region health system?

It places itself in a context of reinterpretation of the concept of health assistance in which the key players are all the health operators and the IT section of every Local Health Authority. The increase of the average age of the citizens on the one hand, and of the public health services requests on the other hand have to deal with the reduction of resources that threaten the service sustainability. The problem of the increasing costs has to combine with the right to health, creating the need of a global revisiting of the health processes. Actually, our projects Veneto ESCAPE, whichpermits the digital management of the whole cycle for signing, certifying, filing, extracting, distributing and storing up clinical digital reports and DOGE that aims at creating an infrastructure for linking primary care professionals (GPs and paediatricians - FCP) and a network of services for the exchange of clinical information (including ePrescription), set the basis for a change of mind from the traditional service system to a new one. Therefore, the Electronic Health Record will represent a growth opportunity for the Veneto Region health system, producing savings and improving the care process.

What is the importance of the EHR for citizens of the Veneto Region?

The regional EHR will allow citizens to have at disposal their own health background information and their clinical situation every time and everywhere in the world, thanks to the use of international standards. Nowadays the expression RHIO has different meanings. As far as we are concerned, this means a model that, starting from the citizens' needs, offers them the chance of a better and safer care process. So, not only will the EHR be the tool to digitalize clinical documentation, but it will be also an out and out service container aimed at providing care outside the hospital. Every citizen, thanks to the EHR will be the protagonist of his care process and will get all the necessary elements to be cured wherever he wishes.

What is the importance of the experience and knowhow developed by Veneto ESCAPE for realizing the EHR?

Document digitalization, digital signature and legal filing are the mainstays on which we will build the regional EHR. Fundamental elements have been acquired thanks to the experience of Veneto ESCAPE, a project that managed to transfer these elements to the operators making them agents of change. Veneto ESCAPE taught that people and health professionals working together on a common project can reach high goals. I also think that this project succeeded in overcoming the typical "individualism" of the LHAs, achieving a common outlook necessary for the fulfilment of the regional EHr.

Why does Veneto ESCAPE represent a milestone for the EHR?

The services offered by Veneto ESCAPE spread very quickly in the whole region. The introduction of useful solutions to solve daily problems showed that we do not have to be afraid of introducing innovation and new solutions that can bring about concrete benefits to citizens. This awareness is essential to build the EHR. At the same time, it is necessary that citizens realize the importance of the EHR: this is the only way to overcome resistance to change that still exists, in particular concerning privacy aspects that Arsenàl.IT has already studied introducing safe and innovative solutions.

Which role will Arsenàl.IT play in the EHR and how will it take on this new challenge?

Arsenàl.IT will support the regional LHAs in the fulfilment of the EHR, handing over the expertise it gained in the field of national and European projects. The Consortium will integrate a member of its technical team in every LHA, who will help them to increase the internal competences. This is a big challenge we have already taken up  full in line with all the LHAs.