Towards Telemedical Centers: Digitization of Inter-Professional Communication in Healthcare

Towards Telemedical Centers: Digitization of Inter-Professional Communication in Healthcare

Jerzy Brzezinski (Poznan University of Technology, Poland), Michal Kosiedowski (Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, Poland), Cezary Mazurek (Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, Poland), Krzysztof Slowinski (Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland), Roman Slowinski (Poznan University of Technology, Poland), Maciej Stroinski (Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, Poland) and Jan Weglarz (Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3990-4.ch042
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Abstract

Over the years, the developments in computing science have strongly influenced the way healthcare entities maintain processes aimed at delivering adequate medical services to patients. Hospital information systems operating within internal computer networks have drastically helped hospitals to improve the efficiency of providing services. They have allowed an immediate sharing of medical information in digital form between hospital employees in order to undertake clinical decisions in a quicker and better way, and to eliminate errors caused by lower quality paper information. The equivalent to these systems in exchanging information between distant medical professionals has become telemedicine. Telemedicine has created opportunities for a smooth cooperation between dispersed medical units and for automating the management of healthcare processes at the regional and national levels. In this chapter, the authors discuss an emerging trend towards developing and maintaining telemedical centers at the institutional and regional/national levels. The authors present functional and organizational requirements for such centers, as well as technical conditions relating to their implementation. Recommendations and statements presented herewith are based on the authors’ collective experience in building teleinformation systems for healthcare, which led to the development of the Wielkopolska Center of Telemedicine.
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Background

A traditional way of communication between distant medical professionals involves several dimensions of medical information exchange. These dimensions include (1) requesting specialist opinions for complicated cases, (2) live cooperation of remote specialists, and (3) sharing patient history. Research on telemedicine allowed delivering valid solutions based on advanced information and communication technologies for all these areas of professional cooperation in healthcare. We discuss these areas in the current section providing insight into other telemedical scenarios concerned with remotely executed procedures like remote controlling of medical appliances and home care.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Telemedical Network: An ecosystem of sites composed of distributed various-type healthcare information and communication systems including data storage and processing services, medical devices, general purpose specialized information and communication systems, and their users, connected through a wide area computer network for the purpose of telemedicine realization.

Telemedical Process: An instance of a telemedical application called for the purpose of executing a telemedical procedure to serve a specific event or request, constituted from specific functions of services and systems, and specific resources of a telemedical network.

Telemedical Node: An ICT module in a telemedical network responsible for exchange of communication between the ICT systems of the intranet of a given medical unit or other healthcare system stakeholders and all other sites and systems of that network.

Telemedical Process: An instance of a telemedical application called for the purpose of executing a telemedical procedure to serve a specific event or request, constituted from specific functions of services and systems, and specific resources of a telemedical network.

Telemedical Center: A site in a telemedical network responsible for composing and providing telemedical applications, monitoring availability of services, systems and resources of that network, and the management of telemedical processes.

Telemedical Network: An ecosystem of sites composed of distributed various-type healthcare information and communication systems including data storage and processing services, medical devices, general purpose specialized information and communication systems, and their users, connected through a wide area computer network for the purpose of telemedicine realization.

Telemedical Application: A virtual composition of ICT services and systems for storing, processing and communicating medical data, and human, software and hardware resources necessary for the realization of a defined telemedical scenario.

Telemedical Application: A virtual composition of ICT services and systems for storing, processing and communicating medical data, and human, software and hardware resources necessary for the realization of a defined telemedical scenario.

Telemedical Node: An ICT module in a telemedical network responsible for exchange of communication between the ICT systems of the intranet of a given medical unit or other healthcare system stakeholders and all other sites and systems of that network.

Telemedical Center: A site in a telemedical network responsible for composing and providing telemedical applications, monitoring availability of services, systems and resources of that network, and the management of telemedical processes.

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