eHealth Week 2011: Information Technology Provides a Cure for Europe's Mounting Healthcare Costs

By Ehealth Week, PRNE
Monday, April 11, 2011

Healthcare Professionals Spend Between 30% and 50% of Their Time on Administrative Tasks Rather Than on Patient Care

BRUSSELS and BUDAPEST, HUNGARY, April 12, 2011 - In the context of an aging population, cutting-edge but expensive medical
treatments and of a well-informed, demanding population, Information
Technology is a cornerstone for a sustainable world-class healthcare for
Europe. At the eHealth Week 2011, the annual gathering of the European
eHealth communities, stakeholders will draw the attention on how IT solutions
can make Europe's health systems fit for future challenges.

"Current methods of delivering healthcare are simply not sustainable in
the face of demographic changes and the expected chronic disease wave," says
Jeremy Bonfini, Executive Vice President for Global Services at HIMSS. "We
need to have IT systems that give healthcare providers more time to treat
patients and allow spending less time in chasing slow moving, missing or
unavailable paperwork."

More than 30% Europeans will be 65 or over in 2025. Chronic diseases such
as diabetes are likely to double or even triple over the next 20 years,
leading to a shortage of specialists and care givers. Even today, staff costs
are estimated to account for 50-70% of healthcare costs.

Healthcare spending rising faster than economic growth

Today, France spends 11% of its GDP on healthcare, Germany 10.6% and
Belgium 10.3%. For most European countries healthcare represents the greatest
percentage of budget growth in terms of expenditure.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD), Europe's multi-challenged healthcare systems require an increase in
spending which outstrips economic growth. Many governments will have to make
difficult choices to sustain their healthcare systems: curb the growth of
public spending on health, cut spending in other areas or raise taxes,
according to OECD analysts.

Dutch health insurers and the Netherlands Bureau for Public Policy
Analysis have already announced that the annual health insurance premium per
person is set to rise by 300 euro over the next four years since healthcare
costs will rise by 4% per year, while the economy is expected to grow only by

"Our systems will collapse if we do not make radical changes," warns
Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the
Digital Agenda. "In times of fiscal austerity and rising deficits, smart
spending is often more effective than cost cutting."

Europe's eHealth elite shows the way forward

A case study by the Asklepios Hospital Group in Germany showed that
annual costs per patient could be reduced by 36.7% through the use of
e-health solutions. CIO of Asklepios, Uwe Pöttgen, will be one of the keynote
speakers at the European eHealth Week 2011 in Budapest (May 10-12, 2011).
From France, Prof. Eric Lepage of AP-HP- Public Hospitals of Paris will share
experiences from the modernization of the Hospital Information System for
72,000 healthcare professionals in 37 Parisian hospitals.

The eHealth Week has emerged as the only true pan-European eHealth
platform: Germany will be represented by ten speakers, Sweden by seven
speakers, Denmark and the UK by six speakers each. Country delegations from
all EU Member States will be sending decision-makers to the High-Level
Ministerial Conference on eHealth, which for the first time ever is opening
its doors to all delegates of the eHealth Week. The industry exhibition at
the World of Health IT is attracting some of the world's largestcompanies;
AGFA and HP are Diamond Sponsors of the event; EMC, Intel and Telekom are
Gold Sponsors.

"This is the one week in the year when the eHealth community of Europe
gathers. You can focus more on networking, professional development and
conduct more professional business here than you can during any other week of
the year," says Jeremy Bonfini.

Registration is open at

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About the High Level eHealth Conference 2011: Visit for more information.

About World of Health IT Conference & Exhibition: Visit for more information.

For further information please contact:

HIMSS Europe European Commission

    Christina Roosen                       Corinne Wenner            
    T: +32-2-793-7633                      T: +32-2-296-4194

    IT communication (agency)              so2say communications (agency)
    T: +34-93-362-10-34                    T: +49-30-2191-3610


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