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TMA-Bridge presents to Healthcare Authorities Working Groupprinter friendly page
TMA-Bridge presents to Healthcare Authorities Working Group
20 April 2005
A recent meeting of the Healthcare Authorities (HCA) Stakeholder Group, organised by EHTEL – European Health Telematics Association, and hosted by the Hungarian Ministry of Health, in Budapest, on 04-05 April 2005, had as special guest, the TM-Alliance, represented by Dr. James Kass, ESA, ESTEC.

Dr. Kass introduced this high-level group to the TMA and TMA-Bridge, especially highlighting the results of the recent international workshop on eHealth Interoperability hosted at ESTEC.

A High-Level Meeting in Surroundings of Splendour

The meeting was held in a hall commensurate with the importance of these high-level delegates, in the large gilded halls of the splendid buildings of the Hungarian Ministry of Health, being their turn to host this prominent gathering. Both meetings and social activities were very well organised by the hospitable, efficient, and generous hosts in the beautiful, old and grand city of Budapest.

HCA Working Group – a group with a mission

The HCA is one of the standing bodies of EHTEL representing stakeholders groups in the domain of healthcare & eHealth, and comprises representatives from most of the 25 EU countries plus several European non-Member States. They meet a couple of times per year to facilitate a common approach to the issue of introducing modern ICT to healthcare. In the long established systems this means a conversion to eHealth, while in the newer Member States, these technologies can be integrated into new healthcare systems from the start. But all health care authorities must tackle similar problems and, more important, must ensure that the systems can communicate with each other: This is essential in order to guarantee care of the mobile citizen and optimum use of resources trans-nationally.

The TMA Delivers a Message to the HCA WG

James Kass of the TM Alliance challenged the group to look at healthcare and eHealth in a holistic manner, in order to be able to effectively tackle the tricky and sometimes frustrating issues of interoperability. To achieve a strong framework for eHealth, all domains must be addressed – Care, Education, Administration, and Surveillance – along various frameworks, such as technical, organisational & social, as a well as policy.

The Beginning of a Difficult Road Ahead

Although technology is available, as are a host of standards, it is still very difficult for almost any two systems to effectively communicate with each other, let alone realizing the dream of seamless healthcare and services across the continent.
There is a long and arduous road ahead, where the terrain has not yet all been surveyed and the road not yet fully mapped. Key to success is communication, collaboration and consensus: But time is running quickly and, despite the efforts, progress is slow.


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