Institutions assisted by Smals
Government controlled Belgian ICT services organization Smals assists around 100 institutions in managing their IT infrastructure, services, and data to help deliver public services more efficiently. Data quality has long been a central pillar of Smals’ work, and its Data Quality Competency Centre, part of the research department since 2004, provides guidance for its members, coaching and training of for data stewards, as well as project-oriented consultancy.
One of Smals’ key members is the Belgium eHealth platform and Smals required more robust data matching and data quality capabilities to support it.
“The datasets that are exchanged through the eHealth Platform are huge, so it was imperative that we found a data quality solution that was scalable. Precisely’s solution not only offered scalability, but it aligned with our data quality philosophy, was easy to use, powerful and capable of the level of complex fuzzy matching that we needed” said Dries Van Dromme, Data Quality and Analytics Consultant, Smals. “Most importantly, though, it supported and improved the important work of the eHealth platform.”
Governing Information Exchange for the Belgian eHealth System
Belgium’s eHealth Platform aims to develop and deliver well-organized, rigorously governed electronic services and information exchange between all stakeholders in the healthcare sector, while guaranteeing the security of the exchanged information, ensuring the privacy of patients and caregivers, and observing medical professional secrecy.
Belgium’s approach to securely exchanging accurate healthcare information is one of the most advanced in the world, and the eHealth Platform has several key objectives. These include improving the quality and consistency of health care information, enhancing patient safety and security, simplifying the administration processes, and fully supporting healthcare policy makers.
The challenge for the eHealth Platform is two fold:
- Validation and quality control of the various contributing authentic data sources (institutions responsible for governing the master data) for each healthcare institution, caregiver, and relationship, proposing one integrated data model.
- Securely exchanging data throughout the entire Belgian healthcare sector. The data exchanged is only accessible by healthcare professionals and patients with the necessary clearance and relationship.
Robust data matching and data quality capabilities for eHealth Platform initiative
Accurate and secure exchange of patient data between all healthcare sector agencies
“There are a very large number of source systems, and that number is only growing. We’re also dealing with vast quanities of data exchanged through the eHealth Platform with the aid of Precisely’s tools.”Dries Van Dromme Data Quality and Analytics Consultant
The Solution & Benefits
Standardization, Quality and Profile Matching for Access
Precisely’s data quality solution, integrated by trusted Precisely partner IntoDQ, was initially used to implement business rules to standardize the different data models from the various agencies and monitor the data quality before exchange. The standardized models were then published to the various professional organizations and contributing “authentic data sources”. As such, the resulting data models and constraints needed to be integrated into all software involved in healthcare information exchange.
Precisely’s data quality solution, integrated by trusted Precisely partner IntoDQ, was initially used to implement business. The standardized models were then published to the various professional organizations and contributing “authentic data information exchange.
The Precisely solution also has another innovation use: security. By encoding different job roles within the healthcare sector, the eHealth Platform ensures that data is only accessible to medical staff with the clearance to access it. Also, through identity matching between patient and staff member, only healthcare workers actually treating a particular patient can access his or her information. Furthermore, the platform keeps track of which caregiver has accessed which patient information.
As Van Dromme describes: “the eHealth Platform is the ongoing realization of a revolutionary vision for healthcare in Belgium, giving doctors, nurses and other caregivers accurate patient information where they need it and when they need it, as well as providing policy makers with a reliable source for analysis and statistics – with respect for patients’ privacy and implementing all regulations governing this. With Smals and the eHealth Platform managing the data, healthcare workers can concentrate secure and reliable information exchange platform for the healthcare sector.”