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Healthc Inform Res > Volume 14(2); 2008 > Article
Journal of Korean Society of Medical Informatics 2008;14(2):87-96.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4258/jksmi.2008.14.2.87    Published online June 30, 2008.
Modelling and Comparing Hospitals' Information Systems in Japan and Germany
Alfred Winter, Franziska Jahn, Lutz IBler, Katsuhiko Takabayashi
1Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
2Systemantics, bureau for informatics, Aachen, Germany.
3Division of Medical Informatics and Management, School of Medicine, Chiba .University, Chiba, Japan.

Medicine and health care are developing to be and yet are driving economical factors worldwide and information and communication technology is one of their most important resources. Thus, there is a special need for effective and efficient information systems. These information systems have continually to be adjusted to changing demands stemming from innovation and trends in medicine (continuity of care, translational medicine), but also from trends in information technology and information management (e.g. SOA, “Green IT”, ITIL). Teams worldwide meet the challenge and implement projects concerning information systems for hospitals, health care regions, or even nationwide health telematics like German teams do by introducing the electronic health card. Completing the IMIA “world.wide vision to improve the health of the world population” by application of information technology needs effective cooperation worldwide. As already stated in the bible (tower of babel) one common language is needed for cooperation. This requires a widely accepted terminology/ontology for describing information systems in health care, a common understanding of the domain and of the tasks to be supported by information systems, and shared methods for creating construction plans. As a small contribution we had proposed 3LGM(2) as an ontology to describe information systems, a reference model to describe the domain of health care information processing, and the 3LGM(2) tool to create models and plans for information systems in health care. In a joint project of the University of Leipzig (Germany) and Chiba University (Japan) we applied these concepts to systematically compare the information systems of the respective universities' medical centres. We regard this comparison as small but important step towards better cooperation between Asia and Europe in building health care information systems. The comparison unfolded e.g. differences concerning architectural styles, heterogeneity, redundancy, use of communication standards and organisation of information management between both hospitals. The confrontation of the information systems of both sites with each other using the same terminology provides new chances for sharing experiences and, thus, for cooperation. Despite of the differences, no reason could be found for rating one information system significantly better than the other. For doing this, a more thorough understanding of quality of information systems in health care and respective research is needed.


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