Austrian health IT vendor, Systema Human Information Systems, has signed a €7m deal to install information systems at eleven hospitals in Upper Austria. The main partner in the agreement is German IT-company SAP.

All eleven hospitals belong to the ‘Oberösterreichische Gesundheits- und Spitals-AG’ (Gespag), the biggest hospital operator in Upper Austria. Gespag has a market share of 44% in the region, with some 9,000 employees working in its hospitals or hospital logistics.

The deal means Systema, a subsidiary of the German health IT company CompuGroup, will be responsible for the migration of the existing workflow system and for a number of new software modules for medical documentation.

Most significant though is the implementation of new hospital information systems in the Gespag-hospitals. The information system to be implemented is SAP IS-H.

As a result of the deal, the market share of the two leading health IT providers in Austria extends even further. Systema does not run its own information system, rather it is the major Austrian business partner of SAP, but offers a number of additional modules including human resource management, hospital controlling, and laboratory analytics.

“Our experience as the biggest Austrian partner for SAP implementations in the health system turned the balance for us in this case”, says head of Systema Willibald Salomon. It has done so repeatedly: “Just a year ago, we won a €50m contract in the Austrian federal state of Lower Austria”, head of CompuGroup Frank Gotthardt told E-Health Europe, “With the Upper Austria deal, our Austrian colleagues have once again done an excellent job.”

SAP, in turn, does not only rely on Systema but also T-Systems Austria with its “IS-H med”, a clinical information system fully integrated into the underlying SAP-software. “IS-H med” is in use by several hundred hospitals in the German speaking countries and is also quite popular in Spain and other Spanish speaking countries.

Following this new deal, networking in Austrian hospitals will be covered by very small number of companies. Like Systema, T-Systems is running a large networking project in Lower Austria, with SAP involved as provider of hospital information systems in both cases. Together with Siemens, co-owner of “IS-H med” and a number of its own Austrian customers, these companies alone could do much of the work, because they provide the IT-solutions for the vast majority of Austria’s hospitals.

The shape of the Austrian hospital network is becoming increasingly clear. T-Systems’ project in Lower Austria involves the implementation of a decentralised electronic patient record, in which patient data remains with the individual hospital and is not stored on central servers.

When talking to EHE, Alexander Schanner, head of the Austrian national health IT organisation, Arge ELGA, said this is a model for what might be realised in Austria as a whole. Systema, SAP, and T-Systems at least seem to be prepared.