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Telematics Infrastructure – start of installations for field testing of the new KIM communications standard 

April 6, 2020

The new KIM communications standard is about to undergo testing at 50 doctor’s surgeries, 16 dental practices, four Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (Kassenärztliche Vereinigungen) and one hospital. gematik has now issued CompuGroup Medical Deutschland AG (CGM) with the necessary approval for this field test of KIM to take place, and installation works at the participating institutions commenced last week. One of the aspects to be covered will be the exchange of secure and signed doctor’s letters between the various establishments.

Many doctors and their surgery staff face a recurrent problem. Letters sent by medical colleagues are either nowhere to be found, or else the quality of faxed documents is too low to enable them to be correctly deciphered. And yet the information contained happens to be urgently needed for a patient consultation and further treatment. Then there is all the time and trouble associated with printing out forms and sending these out by post to physicians responsible for providing ongoing care. But all of this information is already stored in the doctor information system, and it is also obvious that the recipient party will require the data in digitalized form. The consequence is that documents are prepared, printed, dispatched and scanned time and time again before being drawn up once more. This creates an interminable cycle and places an avoidable workload on surgeries which are operating at maximum capacity in any case. The new KIM communications standard (a German acronym for “Communications in the Medical System”) will help to achieve a fundamental improvement in this very area in future.

KIM facilitates accessible, authentic and confidential communication between all participants in the Telematics Infrastructure (TI). Messages and medical documents can be signed via the Digital Doctor’s ID or the Secure Module Card (SMC-B) before being securely shared in an encrypted e-mail. Transmission of electronic doctor’s letters will be the first application made available. A further objective is for KIM to serve as a vehicle for the electronic delivery of certificates of incapacity for work, treatment and cost plans, other forms, medical findings, notices, bills and X-rays.

This new communications standard is now to be tested with immediate effect by doctors, dentists and Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians as well as at one hospital. Work is taking place in close conjunction with the North Rhine Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians and with its counterparts in the states of Berlin, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Necessary installation works have commenced last week. These are being performed by specially trained and certified technicians from CompuGroup Medical Deutschland AG (CGM). CGM has become the first provider to receive the necessary authorization to pilot KIM by conducting field testing. “KIM is a further specialist TI application that will soon be offering direct added value to service providers,” said Dr. Eckart Pech, the CGM Management Board member with responsibility for Consumer and Health Management Information Systems. “KIM will make it easier for all stakeholders involved in the medical treatment process to exchange information. It will also speed up this networking and above all make it more secure. Approval and the launch of the installations represent an important step along the pathway of making this new form of communication within the medical system available to all our customers and partners.”

KIM is capable of use by any doctor or dentist information system, all dispensing chemist administration systems and every hospital information system with an e-mail function and a conventional e-mail application in place. KIM works in the background to encrypt and sign e-mails automatically. Once the field test has been successfully concluded, an update will be sent to all users deploying a CGM information system.

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