Mr. Pierre LEROUX, Project Leader at the Rhône-Alpes Regional Health Agency, played a major role in the project for computerizing patient records in local hospitals in the Rhône-Alpes region. Pierre LEROUS, Jean BARRERE (Project technical support manager) and all the managers involved in this project can be happy today that they have made a decisive contribution to the computerization of 15 hospitals in the region.


« The idea at the beginning was to get the smaller facilities involved in the sharing of information on a regional and national level with the PMR. In order to share information we needed a data production tool. The Regional Health Agency offered to manage the search for one but would leave the final choice up to the facilities themselves, although this level of involvement wasn’t really in their initial prerogatives. »


In the end, 15 hospitals joined the project. Four fundamental values were at the forefront and lead to the operation’s success: «Pooling, because computer resources would not be individual to each facility, but pooled. Capitalization, because before deploying and implementing the settings, we would make the facilities work together to define best practices. This resulted in best practice references that served as a basis for all the settings. Cooperation, because we wanted establishments to help one another. Finally outsourcing, because the facilities weren’t in a position to run the solution themselves. It was something new at the time and it still is today. », states Mr. LEROUX. Outsourcing was a feature that was presented to facilities at the beginning by the Regional Health Agency. Entering into this new age of computerization was a deciding factor in the success of the project. «We thought that it was more suitable for our project. The global solution offered by SOFTWAY MEDICAL in SaaS (Software as a Service) mode was what we chose. It gave us a service delivered permanently to our computers with a level of quality and performance that we could not have achieved individually. »


Fifteen facilities have been operational since the end of 2011. If choosing hosted mode was novel, organizing and putting into practice cooperation and pooling on this scale was equally so. What’s more, the speed and skill with which it was deployed were also exemplary according to Pierre Leroux. «It only took two and a half months between the first day of training on the first site and starting to use it. After that one facility started up virtually every two months. » Globally, the verdict is that of a success story, and is even a source of pride. The facilities have re-thought the way they are organized in particular concerning the sharing and focusing of tasks. This has resulted in more efficiency among the personnel and a better quality of care by the doctors, in particular because of the portal that enables doctors to access computerized patient records securely from their practice. «We are sorry that there weren’t more facilities that benefited from the project, all the more so that we are finding it difficult to bring in new members that have already shown an interest. » concludes Pierre Leroux. Faced with this success and in order to ensure the sustainability of the project, the HL-RA CPR group is working towards becoming a healthcare cooperation consortium. The model developed in Rhône-Alpes and the resulting knowledge bases will no doubt be of help to new facilities.

Interview with Mr. Pierre LEROUX Project Leader for Health and Telemedical Information Systems Rhône-Alpes Regional Health Agency