News 05.06.2014 Hospitals Need Modern IT Infrastructure

Berlin/Brussels, June 5th, 2014.

Today modern IT equipment is an important precondition for providing high standards of healthcare for the general population. However, European hospitals currently make use of the possibilities and opportunities of digitalisation and electronic networking to greatly varying degrees. In the assessment of the European Association of Hospital Managers (EAHM), this is not just a question of will, but also of financial means and opportunities. As a consequence, the EAHM promotes the exchange of experience in this area with its own benchmarking events, as well as campaigning for greater coordination between manufacturers and users. 

We attach great importance to this theme. The advantages of using IT for smooth treatment processes, patient safety, transparency, and the all important area of cross-sector treatment, data exchange between hospitals, specialist centres and GPs, and thus also for the efficiency of healthcare provision, is now undisputed”, stated EAHM President Heinz Kölking in support of the measures taken in this area. The EAHM set up a IT working group to address these issues a number of years ago, which will also be holding a satellite symposium at the 25th EAHM Congress in Berlin at the beginning of September on the theme of information and medical technology with international speakers.

According to Heinz Kölking: “Hospitals in Europe have much to learn from each other”. A recent study from the auditing and consulting company PwC, conducted at the behest of the European Commission, has shown that German hospitals, for example, can learn from other hospitals in Europe when it comes to the electronic transfer of data – e.g. diagnoses, patient letters or laboratory results. According to the report, only six percent of German acute care hospitals are networked with external players. In the case of Danish, Icelandic and Swedish hospitals this figure is around 50 percent. (For the study “European Hospital Survey – Benchmarking Deployment of eHealth Services” 1,717 acute care hospitals were surveyed in the EU, Norway and Iceland.)

However, the establishment of a modern IT infrastructure is associated with a significant level of investment which hospitals are not always able to generate themselves. Here it is above all the European crisis states that are faced with a dilemma, where the hospitals sometimes even lack essential supplies.

Nevertheless, it is abundantly clear to hospital management that without the deployment of IT it will not be possible to tap the important efficiency reserves in hospitals and the healthcare system as a whole. Thus an intensive exchange of ideas between hospitals and across country borders, despite all the differences between the European healthcare systems, is a good, and above all, inexpensive investment. Once again, the EAHM Congress in September offers such an opportunity.


Between September 10th and 12th, the European Association of Hospital Managers (EAHM) will be holding its 25th Congress in Berlin. It will be attended by around 600 hospital managers and directors from all European Union countries. This major hospital management event is organised by the German Association of Hospital Directors (VKD). 

The programme and further information can be found under

The European Association of Hospital Managers (EAHM) is a working group composed of 24 representative hospital manager associations from European countries with around 16,000 members.
The goals of the European Association include, amongst others:
•    Promoting the professional competence and the assumption of responsibility of directors and senior staff from hospital management and the hospital sector in the European countries 
•    Developing proposals for the integration of the hospital sector in the EU as the basis for the establishment of a “social Europe” 
•    Influencing EU directives that affect hospitals. 


European Association of Hospital Managers (AEDH – EVKD – EAHM)                                        German Association of Hospital Directors e.V. (VKD)
Mr Willy Heuschen                                                                                                                       Gabriele Kirchner
General Secretary                                                                                                                         Managing Director
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