In collaboration with a well-known international healthcare company, Sii has developed a number of applications for the collection, management and processing of medical data to improve cooperation between the hospital and the insurer. We discuss the details of the project with Piotr – its technical leader.
What exactly do the systems designed by Sii do?
Sii’s systems support the work of hospitals and insurance companies. They allow you to verify the correctness of any data related to the patient’s hospital stay. The insurance company may then decide whether or not to pay the benefit and to calculate the amount. In the event of a refusal, the system enables any dispute between the insurer and the hospital to be managed and documented, as well as the case to be referred to appropriate institutions that arbitrate such disputes.
The system also allows the insurer to collect and manage all data related to hospital services – including contact details, the range of medical services provided, and the financial details of the contracts. The system allows for medical procedures to be verified to ensure they have been properly matched to the symptoms diagnosed, and simulations to be performed using alternative procedures to identify possible savings. The same system helps hospitals simulate such matching procedures for a diagnosis that will be accepted by the insurer and, at the same time, improve performance.
We are also working on a solution to allow hospitals to legally collect data on service quality and for this to be delivered to the appropriate authorities for verification.
What were the biggest challenges posed by this project?
A major challenge was the need to adapt the systems to the requirements of German law (this was the country where the project was implemented), which was constantly being amended. Many of the difficulties we encountered were directly related to legal restrictions. For example, a change in the rules made some of the data, which, up until a certain point, could have been edited, non-editable. This highlighted mistakes in procedures, which in previous regulations had been easy for users to ignore, and therefore remained ‘invisible’. In the new circumstances, it was necessary to introduce additional system changes.
Changes in the law have also complicated the testing of applications. Because it is illegal for medical data to leave Germany, it has to be anonymous – an additional challenge is therefore how to keep the data as close as possible to the original. Further issues include the documentation of the original system with which we started working, and also the need to keep to a strict schedule of implementing changes and applications, according to the so-called yearly release – which resulted in a limited time for the testing to be carried out. Despite the many obstacles, through solid organization of work, clearly defined tasks within the SCRUM methodology and a motivated team, we were able to deliver the required solution within the deadline.
How to choose .NET technology when implementing a project?
.NET was selected due to the fact that previous versions had been written in Visual Basic, so therefore .NET was naturally the next step. In addition, when Sii joined the project, the first regulatory system was already partially obsolete, so it can be said that the choice of technology had already been imposed in advance. However, in our team we always try to identify the areas in which we can utilise the Internet. We strive to convince customers of this approach, and if we are successful, we will implement technologies that are compatible with the latest trends, such as .NET 4.6.2 and Angular 4. This enables us to create applications that are future-proof, scalable, and easy to test. Furthermore, working on them provides developers with far more satisfaction.
In the context of IT, what is the health sector waiting for?
The health sector is modernising – existing applications are being transferred to the latest technology, and the healthcare industry is starting to move towards the use of mobile devices.
Article written by: Agnieszka Dmyterko