Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart has introduced the electronic medication module AiDKlinik to improve medication safety.

The tool offers sophisticated medication alerts, for example warnings in case of clinically relevant interactions and dosing aids for children or patients with impaired renal function.

The software was developed by ‘Dosing’, a spin-off of Heidelberg University. “We started testing it in October 2007. Doctors have been using it heavily since then, and so we decided to make it available in all departments,” said Dominik Alscher, head of internal medicine at Robert Bosch.

Among the advantages of the new tool is its usability, said Alscher when talking to E-Health Europe. “The software was developed not by technicians but by practitioners. It really can be used in every day work without any difficulties.” It is not too expensive, either: a hospital with 300 beds will have to pay around €13,000 a year.

Robert Bosch Hospital is the latest in a number of large German hospitals that have recently decided to use AiDKlinik. “Among them is Frankfurt University Hospital, Freiburg University Hospital and Hannover University Hospital,” said Michael Basen of dmc digital media center, the distributing partner for the tool.

Basen added that in almost all hospitals, AiDKlinik runs as stand alone software. “We offer all that is needed to integrate the solution into electronic order entry systems. But the reality is that there is almost no hospital in Germany at the moment that is working with electronic medication order entry.”

Things might be changing, though. Several university hospitals are currently introducing electronic order entry in their critical care units. “In Heidelberg, for example, electronic order entry will become part of the ward’s ‘Cobra’ information system in due course. This means that AiDKlinik can be fully integrated into the prescription process there,” Basen told E-Health Europe.

AiDKlinik is one out of several medication modules that have popped up in the German speaking countries in recent times. What these new tools have in common is that they do not rely exclusively on standard medication databases, but incorporate expert knowledge to generate clinically relevant warnings.

AiDKlinik is backed by Walter Haefeli, head of pharmacology at Heidelberg University. Among the competitors is Rpdoc, backed by Daniel Grandt, a leading medication specialist at Saarbrücken Hospital, and TheraOpt, backed by the former head of pharmacology of Hannover University, Jürgen Frölich.

That the two companies ‘dmc’ and ‘Dosing’ managed to win Robert Bosch Hospital as a new customer is interesting because the Stuttgart-based hospital is increasingly seen as one of the key hospital players in the emerging German e-health market. Together with its mother company, Robert Bosch, and with ICW, it is running a telemedical callcenter for cardiac patients in the context of the “Partnership for the heart” project.

For Robert Bosch Hospital, AiDKlinik is just one step on a broader journey towards a hospital-wide network of electronic decision support for doctors. “For example, we are planning to incorporate parts of AiDKlinik into a software tool for capturing the patient history,” Alscher told E-Health Europe. This would mean that a patient’s medication could already be checked before the patient actually sees a doctor.