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November 22, 2022

Open software systems can break the barriers between public and private health

At a time when the healthcare system is under more pressure than ever before, smart and open software can build a bridge between public and private healthcare actors. By sharing and collaborating on tasks, the sectors can complement each other and raise the quality of citizens' treatment.

Columna Cura is Systematic's electronic care record for the public sector and is part of the healthcare suite Columna. Columna Cura creates a uniform and efficient flow of citizen-oriented tasks, and the solution now also proves to be suitable for handling the records of the work for private actors.

Private test results are recorded

The private health clinic Copenhagen Medical has adopted Cura to support their testing and vaccination efforts. During the corona pandemic, Copenhagen Medical ran numerous rapid-test centers as part of the Capital Region's corona response. During the corona pandemic, Copenhagen Medical ran more than 50 rapid test centers as part of the Capital Region's corona preparedness. Here arose the need to keep records of the citizens' test results, and this made Copenhagen Medical look for a good record keeping solution.

"The choice fell on Columna Cura, as this system would make it possible for us to do both mass tests for Corona, as well as to provide more complex services, such as health checks. Furthermore, Systematic's approach to secure software fits well with our strategy to deliver secure services to citizens," says Brian Kirkegaard, CTO of Copenhagen Group.

The corona virus is now in retreat, and Copenhagen Medical has therefore set about improving the health of Danes with focus on prevention and providing greater insight into the possibility of impacting one's own health. A first step in that direction is to test the Danes for another national scourge: chlamydia. Danes normally go to the country's medical centers to get tested for the venereal disease, but when private companies can offer chlamydia tests, it frees up the time of the general practitioners, who can instead deal with cases requiring more expertise. Thanks to integration between the laboratory systems and the record system, these test results can now automatically transfer to the citizens' digital record. Copenhagen Medical also provides other health services such as vaccinations to sailors via company agreements with shipping companies.

An open software system

When Systematic delivers solutions to public health organisations, the software is integrated with existing common public infrastructure and other systems such as municipal and national registers. However, as a private organisation, Copenhagen Medical does not have the same access to these systems. Columna Cura contains an open API (Application Programming Interface), and through this Copenhagen Medical can create integration with its other systems such as user management and payroll systems, as well as systems for communicating with citizens via SMS. This has created coherent support for administrative and clinical aspects of the various testing and vaccination workflows.

New opportunities for collaboration

Systematic's vision within the healthcare sector is to improve the quality of care and treatment at all stages of the citizen's encounter with the healthcare system. The fact that a part of the Columna suite now operates in both public and private spheres opens up new opportunities for joint task-solving across sectors.

"There is great potential in increasing cooperation between public authorities and private health actors, especially in situations where a specific health service - e.g. testing or vaccination - must be offered on mass. Here, a private actor often has a better starting point to put together an efficient flow and thus relieve the public health service. It is exciting to see the systems from these two worlds approaching each other, and it opens up new perspectives on how to increase cooperation across the private and public divide," says Simon Bo Larsen, Senior Architect at Systematic.

Systematic's vision is also to develop new software solutions jointly using open ecosystems with open standards. Spreading a record-keeping solution across the private and public divide is a first step on the way.