Digital Health

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health Commissions HIMSS and Partners to Evaluate Digital Maturity of German Hospitals

A nurse wearing scrubs using a digital tablet

The Federal Ministry of Health of Germany has awarded a contract to the DigitalRadar consortium initiated by HIMSS to measure the current and future degree of digitization of hospitals. Germany’s Federal and State governments are investing up to 4.3 billion euros in the digital infrastructure of the country’s 1,800 hospitals and need to determine the effects of the funding.

HIMSS will be working together with research and advisory partners to deliver the project — including the Institute for Applied Health Services Research (inav), the hospital consultancy firm Lohfert & Lohfert and the Leibniz Institute for Economic Research (RWI). The project is led by Prof. Dr. Sylvia Thun from Charité University Medicine and by Prof. Dr. Alexander Geissler from the Medical School at the University St. Gallen.

“A hospital’s advancement in digital maturity opens doors to improved patient services, modern treatment methods and international research and collaboration,” said Hal Wolf, President & CEO of HIMSS. “Digial capacity has proven to be an effective step toward better health outcomes and improved capability of health systems to address future challenges such as demographic shifts, financial pressures and population health responses. HIMSS is thankful to receive the trust of the Federal Ministry of Health of Germany and our consortium partners to deliver this project.”

DigitalRadar’s Three Phases

In the first phase, the DigitalRadar consortium is developing a standardized assessment and online evaluation tool in line with the funding dimensions of the Hospital Future Fund. The customized German model is based on nationally and internationally established maturity models and draws from HIMSS’s experience in evaluating the digital maturity of 65,000 healthcare organization worldwide. 

In the second phase, the consortium will evaluate the maturity levels of hospitals in two rounds of structured self-assessments in the years 2021 and 2023.

Finally, the Federal Ministry of Health will be presented with a longitudinal study and a scientific evaluation on the impact of the investment program on the digitization of the hospitals.

“Over the past years, the German government has taken decisive steps toward digitizing its health system — introducing new legislation, expanding reimbursement for digital health services and promoting additional investments of up to 4.3 billion euros into its hospitals,” said Armin Scheuer, Vice President of Business Development International at HIMSS, who led the build-up of the DigitalRadar consortium. “The digital maturity assessment of the country’s hospitals will now help the Federal Ministry of Health understand the impact of these measures. It will further provide an indication of the hospital sector’s international position, which can be a game changer in the way that the German health system compares, cooperates and communicates across regions and countries.”

“The German Digital Maturity project will provide a validated tool to measure the progress of digital maturity in hospitals,” said Jörg Studzinski, Director of Research and Advisory Services and HIMSS lead on the DigitalRadar steering committee. “It fully considers the funding dimensions of the Hospital Future Act and is completely aligned to German market specifics. At the same time, the model will consider international best practice in order to support the advancement of health services, continuity of care as well as support global benchmarking and scientific cooperation.”

HIMSS, through its subsidiary HIMSS Europe GmbH, is represented in Germany with offices in Berlin and Leipzig. Over the past years, HIMSS has evaluated the digital maturity of more than 500 German hospitals with the EMRAM maturity model.

Additional Information

Learn more about the Hospital Future Act.

Watch the HIMSS TV Interview with Prof. Jörg Debatin, Chairman of Germany’s Health Innovation Hub.

Visit the DigitalRadar Consortium Website (in German).

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