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Healthcare Providers In Germany Look To Expand Digital Services In Response To Pandemic

ISG Provider Lens report finds healthcare providers in the country seeking more efficiency while offering better service to patients

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the German healthcare system, and in response, healthcare providers are looking to increase their efficiency, offer better service to patients and expand their telemedicine practices, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

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The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Healthcare Digital Services Report for Germany finds healthcare providers in the country also looking to reduce costs, optimize patient care and offer improved medical care for rural areas. Many healthcare providers are turning to IT service providers to modernize and undergo digital transformation.

“The German healthcare system is being digitized at a rapid pace,” said Barbara Florschuetz, ISG partner in Germany. “The challenges exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, including staff shortages, are driving the transformation to digital processes and services.”

Healthcare providers in Germany are looking to artificial intelligence to automate many processes and are also embracing cloud services, the report says. With the healthcare industry highly regulated, service providers should demonstrate comprehensive technical knowledge, industry expertise and compliance with regulations. Patient data protection, especially for cloud services, is particularly important for service providers to focus on.

Data protection regulations are inhibiting some digitization projects, the report says. Service providers need to consider patient data privacy when offering services to payers in Germany, it recommends.

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At the same time, German lawmakers are pushing the healthcare system to embrace digital solutions, the report notes. Electronic patient records have been mandatory in Germany since January 2021, and the German Hospital Future Act focuses on increasing hospital use of digital tools and services.

The report sees payers in the German healthcare system having a higher level of digitization than healthcare providers. Private health insurers are more advanced than federal health insurance companies, because of efficiency pressures. While patient health records are now required to be digital, there are a large number of processes that are still paper based.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Healthcare Digital Services Report for Germany evaluates the capabilities of 27 providers across two quadrants: Payer Digital Transformation Services and Provider Digital Transformation Services.

The report names Accenture, Atos, CANCOM and IBM as Leaders in both quadrants and Cognizant, Deutsche Telekom (Telekom Healthcare Solutions), Deutsche Telekom (TSI) and DXC Technology as Leaders in one quadrant.

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