Since its launch, in 2007, the implementation of 'Cosmic', the electronic health record (EHR) system of the Faroe Islands has shown positive results and has made great use of the Danish experience.
The researchers from the Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University who have followed the project closely reported positive feedback on the implementation of 'Cosmic'. Thanks to the EHR system, patient treatment and information access are faster, less time is wasted and the health staff and the patients are happier.
'Cosmic' deals with medical prescriptions, referrals, booking, results of blood tests, mail functions and delivery of discharge letters to local doctors. Furthermore, x-ray therapy radiation treatment, pharmacies and social services are about to be implemented as well.
What is unique about the Faroese Islands' EHR project is that many players and functions involved in the healthcare system have been taken into account. The researchers of the project believe that the holistic aspect of the Faroese system and the inclusion of so many functions and actors, from local medical practitioners to hospitals and rehabilitation centres, is what makes it a successful project.
The Associate Professor of the Aarhus School of Business, Povl Erik RostgÃ¥rd Andersen observes that great manageability has been achieved and duplicated work avoided thanks to 'Cosmic'; this is because the system allows medical practitioners, doctors from the emergency services, hospital doctors, nurses and nursing staff to update the records right after treating the patients.
Along the implementation process, the project team has learnt from and drawn on the experience of Danish regions and hospitals. Now that the Faroese are far ahead, things should go the other way round according to Povl Erik RostgÃ¥rd Andersen.
The researchers of the project have been focusing particularly on the importance of the system for its users, i.e. the staff of the Faroese healthcare system; according to studies conducted with regards to the system, healthcare givers - the acceptance of which is vital for its further development - have expressed their positive views towards the new EHR system.
The Associate Professor Bjarne Rerup Schlichter, who has also been working in the research for the project, emphasises the importance of focusing on the key actors' confidence in the system. In this regard, he commented: "It is paramount that people believe in the project and see its advantages. If a group of employees loses its confidence in the system and cannot see the use of it, everything will fall into pieces, and it cannot merely be managed by the means of an email. It requires physical presence of the support group right from the beginning. The management needs to be adept at explaining the purpose, communicating a lot and listening to both the positive and negative experiences the users have. Because when everyone uses the same system, teaching-in and having experience with the system is crucial to making it work."