Organised by the German Association of the Healthcare IT Industry (VHitG) and Messe Berlin, this year conhIT 2010 is cooperating with the 127th Congress of the German Society for Surgery which takes place at the same time. The use of modern IT solutions in surgery is impressive proof that IT-based solutions in medicine make life easier not just for financial controllers and administrative heads in hospitals. Rather they impact directly on patient safety and reduce the risk of complications associated with operations.
IT solutions can also directly improve levels of patient care. Professor Michael Betzler, medical director at the Alfried Krupp Hospital in Essen and senior consultant at the surgery unit Klinik für Chirurgie I: "Undoubtedly, putting modern IT concepts into practice can significantly improve not only the safety of patients but also of surgery in general."
Less transcription errors mean less complications
Where patient safety is concerned Betzler identifies several areas where IT can be put to use to good effect. "Electronic documentation alone reduces error rates," he says. Irrespective of whether one is documenting an operation, medical evidence or patient statistics, electronic documentation avoids transcription errors. It makes a patient's path from A&E to the operating area, from intensive care to normal units and subsequently to outpatient care a safer one, because if there is less data that has been wrongly conveyed or is missing it means less wrong decisions. Betzler is convinced that it also improves cooperation among the various professional groups taking care of patients.
Modern IT solutions can help surgeons directly in other ways prior to and during an operation. For instance they help to plan an operation by evaluating image data. This information is then used to control computer-aided navigation systems. In particular this can help patients whenever sensitive areas are operated on which require utmost precision. Betzler: "In many cases IT controlled navigation systems minimise the number of complications associated with operations. That helps the patient, and naturally in the end operations resulting in fewer complications also reduce hospital costs."
Improving efficiency in hectic day-to-day operating routines
Naturally healthcare IT can also be used in general surgery to improve the workflow, for example in operating areas. Matthias Meierhofer, Chairman of the Board of MEIERHOFER AG and a member of the board of VHitG e.V.: "Considering that an operation accounts for approximately one-third of the overall costs of in-patient treatment, then using planning software which makes optimum use of available resources is a logical choice, IT-based planning helps not only with organising room availability in emergencies but also ensures optimum use of staff and resources, which in the end increases the number of operations than can be carried out per day." Some modern IT solutions can now be used to simulate individual patient workflow, so that one can mimic the impact of organisational measures on the complex system defined by the operating area in detail ahead of time. At conhIT visitors will be able to view an intelligent orthoMIT operating theatre, an innovative concept for modular integration of a variety of applications and components in an integrated work station for surgeons, along with user interfaces.
At conhIT 2010 there will be a lively exchange of information with participants in the 127th Congress of the German Society for Surgery. On 21 April a joint congress session at the Surgeons' Congress (Room 6, ICC Berlin) will discuss the topic of "Patient safety through IT". On 22 April there will be a report on the use of IT in the treatment of cancer at conhIT (Hall 1.2, Room 1) under the title of "Intuitive tumour documentation - to prevent the documentation becoming a tumour". A shuttle on the exhibition grounds will transport visitors to and from both events. Tickets to the Surgeons' Congress are also valid for admission to conhIT.
conhIT – the industry meeting place for Healthcare IT on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds from 20 to 22 April 2010
conhIT was conceived by VhitG, and as a platform for the healthcare IT industry promotes active dialogue between manufacturers, users and science. It targets decision-makers in IT departments, management, in the medical profession, nursing, doctors, doctors' networks and medical care centres who need to find out about the latest developments in IT and healthcare, meet members of the industry and make use of opportunities for high-level advanced training.
As an integrated event, over a period of three days conhIT combines the displays, services and opportunities which attract the industry's attention. The congress and academy focus on the advanced training requirements of exhibitors and users and the topics are put together by representatives of the respective target audiences. The industrial fair, the main focus of conhIT and Germany’s leading exhibition for healthcare IT, provides information on products and services and presents innovations, trends and established IT solutions. Opening times and individual content are coordinated to let participants benefit from each part of the event. In 2009 172 exhibitors displayed their products at the industrial fair. By booking early exhibitors can make sure of the best places at the industrial fair.
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