Legislative efforts drive European health IT

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Legislation is promoting the development of healthcare information technology infrastructure, while supporting efforts to enhance patient data privacy and security across the European healthcare spectrum, according to a report by healthcare research company Frost & Sullivan of San Jose, Calif.

The firm noted that the HL7 standard has been adopted by most European countries as European legislation emphasizes the need for a stable IT infrastructure as well as improved patient data safety.

Government investments supporting strong and widely connected IT platforms in various hospitals coupled with initiatives encouraging the implementation of healthcare IT standards are also driving patient data safety across the European healthcare industry, Frost & Sullivan said.

However, the firm said that concerns related to data protection and IT security together with the issue of achieving compatibility of varied data formats pose major challenges to patient data safety in Europe.

Frost & Sullivan advised that industry participants should look at standardizing data formats and ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to patient data. Partnering with local organizations will also be critical to resolving significant issues related to patient data safety, according to the firm.