A silent revolution in health


The SPMS coordinates and supervises the implementation of The National Strategy for the Health Information Ecosystem (ENESIS), ensuring its operationalization and promotion, and also the best-practices dissemination. Within the goals and principles of ENESIS 2020, telehealth is an example of other digital transformation requirements.

The National Centre for Telehealth (CNTS), created in 2016, is part of the SPMS and contributes to improving governance and efficiency in the National Health Service (SNS) by using solutions that allow for the modernisation and integration of information technologies in the scope of shared services. Other requirements that are essential to this digital change are the digital literacy of citizens, the mobile solutions, health professionals' eSkills and, of course, robust infrastructures, fast networks and propoer hardware.

Digital transformation advancement in the health sector is a reality. Improved use of resources, access to services with increased quality, and the exchange of knowledge between providers of the same speciality are some of the advantages. These stimulate health system sustainability and, in this context, information security is vital to digital transformation. Important steps were taken in this sense, and the SPMS has been reinforcing the implementation of multiple measures.

Claranet's participation was vital to accomplishing the aspiration of providing the Ministry of Health (MH) with a corporate productivity suite that can be used by all MH professionals.

Henrique Martins
Chairman of the Board of Directors

The challenge

Digital transformation plays a vital role in society and must be aligned with cross-border initiatives.

The Electronic Health Record (RSE) is one of MH's most important initiatives:

The goal is to dematerialise procedures and processes. One successful case is the Paperless Perscription, that stands out due to its innovative character, and that brings distinct advantages to physicians, pharmacists, citizens, and to the overall health system", says Henrique Martins, chairman of the Board of Directors of the SPMS, "resulting in significant cost reduction and procedure simplification".

The Paperless Exams initiative is another significant project of SPMS under the digital transformation process. This aims to bring physicians and citizens closer, decreasing waste, reducing paperwork and providing all parties involved with increased security.

Because the number of employees in the MH has been increasing over the past years, it is necessary to reinforce the provision of services that are made available, therefore ensuring that they are sufficient in number to cover over 138 thousand users.

At the same time, the is the need to be in permanent contact with SPMS' professionals by providing not only support, but also training, engagement and the activation of a wide range of corporate productivity and professional collaboration products.

The solution

To ensure stability of all these and other applications provided to the National Health Service, the Ministry of Health and other Portuguese and European entities, the SPMS implemented a new corporate productivity suite with Claranet as an external partner that provided expertise, professionalism and availability, and ons of the safest productivity services available.

The aspects concerning information security and cybersecurity are becoming more and more relevant and vital to the health sector, especially to services and products provided by the SPMS, given the increasing concerns and responsibilities inherent to keeping Portuguese citizens’ health data", says Henrique Martins, chairman of the Board of Directors of the SPMS.

It is important to mention the economic efficiency that arises from the economies of scale, as well as the effectiveness in central proactive management that allows for improved harmonisation and use of features provided to more that 62 entities in the MH.

The result

There is a significant cost reduction by adopting just one central solution that can be used by all entities in the MH, when compared to the costs that were previously borne by each of these entities. For instance, each entity is estimated to save more than two million Euros annually (excluding licensing and product-related costs), as opposed to if they were to come up with their own infrastructure and human resources solution to support this type of corporate solutions.

Several improvements were immediately registered, from the inevitable information security and cybersecurity matter, to governance and elimination of "shadow IT", to an even higher degree of collaboration, effectiveness and economic sustainability of health care providers.