Prof. Ursula Hübner, Dr.
Professor of Medical and Health Informatics and Quantitative Methods at the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück
Professor of medical and health informatics and quantitative methods at the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, head of the research group informatics within the healthcare system and the laboratory for advanced applications
1990 - 1997
Project manager of EU funded research and development projects of the Groupe Bull SA Paris/Cologne within the field of software-solutions for the healthcare system (image processing, document management, clinical department systems, technology assessment)
Doctorate as Dr. rer. nat. at the scientific faculty of the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf in the field of functional neuroanatomy by using imaging procedures
1987 - 1990
Scientific employee and system analyst of the enterprise Bull AG Köln (Cologne) in the field of new technologies within medicine – developing and evaluating software for measurement and illustration of the cerebral blood flow aided by computer-assisted tomography.
1984 - 1987
Scientific employee at the neurologic clinic of the medical institution of the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf – works for the development of algorithms for the calculation and modeling of the cerebral blood flow in terms of mathematical-statistical procedures - promoted by the DFG collaborative research center
Diploma in psychology at the faculty of science at the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf – main area: brain research, electrophysiology, statistics and informatics
Optimizing business processes within the healthcare system through the implementation of interoperable information- and communication technology especially for the guarantee of the continuity of maintenance, including e-health and medical care / home care for the optimization of the supply chain within the healthcare system, modeling of IT adoption within the healthcare system
Publisherships, among others
IT Report Gesundheitswesen (IT report healthcare system)
Scientific associations, including
Member of the joint expert committee “medical informatics” of the German society for medical informatics, biometry and epidemiology (gmds) and the society for informatics (GI)
Head within the gmds working group “Informationsverarbeitung in der Pflege” (information processing within medical care).
Member of HL7 Deutschland
Further activities, including
In advisory panels of various congresses, e.g. conhIT and IT-Trends/Health Telematics
Evaluator for national and international journals
Salutary Information Chains
Prof. Dr. Ursula Hübner, professor of medical and health informatics and director of the research group informatics within the healthcare system at the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, about the interconnection between man and machine, bad treatment results within wound care and how an IT-based information chain management should optimize the medical care of chronically ill people.
Everybody talks about e-Health. What exactly is meant by that, Prof. Hübner?
Hübner: E-health stands for the support of processes within the healthcare system by the means of information and communication technology. It combines complex information and processes on a cross-sectorial information platform and is the backbone of an interconnected medical care.
One of your specialties is wound care. How is cross-sectorial disclosure of information applied in this field?
Hübner: If you want to hear the truth: The sectors do not talk with each other, but also within the sectorial borders wars of religion are raging between individual professional groups. Poor information exchange and also the confusion of most diverse data are the central reasons why we got such bad results at the treatment of patients with chronic wounds in Germany.
And e-health can build bridges there?
Hübner: Yes, it is working. With the electronic care report we could already show that standardization of processes and information is intersectorally possible. We will develop the same, only significantly more extensive, also for the treatment of the chronically sick patients now within the project IKM health (information chain management health).
The treatment of patients with chronic wounds is central…
Hübner: Not alone. I am responsible together with my working group for the field of wound care. Two more working groups deal with tumor pain (partner university Osnabrück – Prof. Dr. Remmers) and back pain (partner university medicine Göttingen – Prof. Dr. Rienhoff). In all three areas it is a matter of setting up an efficient information chain management, which should improve the medical care of those particular patient groups.
Information chain management – please elaborate…
Hübner: Information chain management means that all professional groups participating in the treatment, therefore hospital, resident physicians, nursing services, will have access to treatment-case-related patient data. Not only can that information be viewed by the respective treating parties, but can even be completed. In the end an efficient and complete information chain and communicating system is formed.
And the communicating system should improve the medical care of chronically ill people?
Hübner: This is our hypothesis. When our work is done, the information chains will be analyzed in a first field experiment in Lower Saxony. There is every indication that the results will be positive.
How do you precede to setup a transparent information chain for wound care?
Hübner: Together with experts of scientific societies and through the sighting of international literature we currently standardize the intersectoral processes and information. This means we are determining, what information has to be present e.g. at the point of intersection hospital/ care home, so that the patient can continuously and optimally be cared for. The point of intersection should turn into an interface - not a break line. At the end of the day the challenge is that scientific results as well as practical experience find their entrance into the standardized wound report.
Which data are important for wound care?
Hübner: Wound care has to do with all medical relevant data such as anamnesis, size of the wound, status of the wound, medication or overweight. However, we also try to include social information, which are influencing treatment results, like the patient’s nutrition or adherence, therefore the patient compliance.
Somehow the “e” is still missing. When is informatics coming into play?
Hübner: It is a misbelief, that informatics is only the writing of software programs. Informatics is working mentally 80 percent of the time. We are still going to work on the information technical model until the middle of next year. Only when this mental work is accomplished, the technical implementation can start. However, I can already reveal to you that the e-wound report is based on the universal document exchange format HL7 CDA is attuned with IHE.
Hübner: It is our priority, to link men and machines. Therefore we use a tool that enables the information exchange between totally heterogeneous IT-systems. After all the nursing service around the corner should be able to read the same data as could any highly complex hospital information system. This is possible with HL7 CDA.
With information chain management you do not only want to overcome technical but also sectorial borders. What about the data privacy?
Hübner: Data privacy is often misunderstood. It should protect the individual against the misuse of their data, nothing more. If the patient consents voluntarily and informed that the data can be passed on safely to the respective groups, nothing is getting in the way of a transparent information chain.
Interview: Beatrice Hamberger