[Event Report] Special Breakfast Meeting “The 4th Health Technology Policy Action Series: Involvement of Citizens and Patients in Healthcare Information Systems” (December 16, 2016)
At this Breakfast Meeting, HGPI invited Prof. Hiroaki Miyata, Professor of Health Policy and Management at the School of Medicine at Keio University. Prof. Miyata talked about “The Involvement of Citizens and Patients in Healthcare Information Systems.”
1. Political background and health information issues
Japan is currently confronting serious issues, such as the extreme aging of the population, and the decline in the total number of people in the population. The means available to tackle these issues today, and the ways in which Japan can develop its strategy for these issues over the next few decades, are separate issues of equal importance. The healthcare system must be redefined, but any new system should also inherit the long-standing merits of the current system. Japan is expected to experience a huge turning point within the next few years. In an era in which things that happened only a few months ago are no longer relevant, the extent to which ICT can be adopted for social reforms is a crucial issue.
The “Round Table for ICT Utilization Promotion in the Fields of Health and Medical Services” held in October 2016 by MHLW proposed the concept of “PeOPLe” as a basis for the use of information. People are at the core of this concept. The concept connects people with individual data in open environment, and proposes a platform that would make data available not only for sharing among healthcare workers, but also allow sharing among individuals for health management purposes.
2. Finding a Balance Between Health Care Quality Improvements and the Creation of a Sustainable Society
Three themes must be taken into account when trying to establish both healthcare quality improvements and a sustainable society. Those three themes are “creating,” “connecting,” and “expanding.” Japan’s craftsmanship is praised around the world. New possibilities will be open to us if we can create a system that makes use of this strength. Big data in healthcare needs to go beyond simple data collection. For example, in clinical settings, the medical information collected in clinical records should be written objectively and based on international standards. In order to produce value from big data, we need to first “create” correct data.
3. The Active use of the National Clinical Database (NCD)
Japan has been actively using the NCD since 2010. The NCD was established in collaboration with surgical societies as a surgical case database that could support our specialized healthcare system. All healthcare organizations in Japan have been registering clinical cases in the NCD since 2011. Internal medicine case registration has started as well. Patient prognoses can be predicted by entering preoperative patient information into the NCD. The NDC has a real-time feedback function. This system thus supports each doctor to improve their individual skills. The system will likely make it possible for each doctor to respond to patients on an individual level, and thereby profoundly expand the work of doctors.
4. Active use of ICT within a Next-Generation Healthcare System
The active use of medical information has expanded to in-home care as well. In Japan, the ”My Number” system was launched in January 2016. Some are now talking about the introduction of health IDs in the healthcare system. This would make it possible to connect the individualized medical information collected by each stakeholder. With the gathered data, it would likely be possible to reform the creation of academic guidelines and healthcare systems. This kind of patient and public-focused initiative will become more and more important in the near future.
It is critical to reflect on ways to use healthcare ICT, including data. Japan faces a major turning point. Can we create a new society by 2035? A brighter future can be achieved through everyone’s combined efforts.