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Smart Medical Information Technology for Healthcare (SMITH)

Within the concept phase of the Medical Informatics Funding Scheme of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the university hospitals in Aachen, Jena, Leipzig, Hamburg, Bonn, Essen and Halle are involved and funded. Their aim within the scope of SMITH is the development of an innovative structure for cross-institutional linking and exchange of healthcare and research data between sites and beyond.

To strengthen a sustainable culture of interdisciplinary cooperation and quality-assured, structured medical documentation, and to make specialist knowledge and research findings available Germany-wide.

Clinical, epidemiological, and medical systems researchers, medical informaticians, as well as Chief Information Officers and IT staff members from all mentioned university hospitals work closely together with non-university research institutions and industry partners. These groups strengthen a sustainable culture of interdisciplinary cooperation and quality-assured structured medical documentation and make specialist knowledge and research findings available throughout Germany. Additionally the university hospitals in Rostock and Düsseldorf have been integrated as networking partners.

During the project, the IT infrastructure at all sites will be developed to enable data exchange between information systems for healthcare and for research. To meet this objective, data integration centers will be established to support structured medical and study documentation in clinical and research IT, to store data and documents in internationally standardized formats (HL7 CDA, HL7 FHIR, etc.) for curation and analysis, and to exchange these by means of internationally standardized communication and security procedures (IHE).

Three use cases (antibiotic stewardship, algorithmic surveillance of intensive care patients, and a phenotyping platform) will serve as practical demonstrations of the data exchange and will test the functional capabilities and effectiveness of the data integration centers.

To strengthen data integration in training and continuing education, new professorships and the development of an extensive and structured program of study courses will be established.

Based on our cooperation in documentation, data storage, data exchange and the technical implementation of the data integration centers, and due to our joint education efforts, SMITH will sustainably strengthen clinical research and patient care in Germany.