The Brussels Health Network
How does it works
To benefit from the services of the Brussels Health Network, health professionals and patients must have given their consent to electronic data sharing for the continuity of care. This is the precondition for care providers to be able to access the patient’s data.
To access the Brussels Health Network portal themselves, patients must also register. If patients have not already given their consent to a care provider, registration on the Brussels Health Network is tantamount to consent for data sharing.
Only health professionals with a therapeutic relationship with a patient can access their medical information, and with the prior agreement of the patient.
Medical documents issued by hospitals, laboratories, health care institutions, are housed where they were created and are available 24/7 to intra-hospital and extra- hospital doctors. Only references of these documents are centralized.
The health professionals do not publish the entirety of their patient records; they only publish the relevant documents for continuity of patient care.
Health professionals gain in time and efficiency as they have a global view of the patient’s health.
This approach strengthens the integration of primary care. In case of medical attention, the care of patients is facilitated by access to shared documents. The doctor on duty may in turn create a provisional medical summary.
Health Networks in Belgium
In Belgium there are four health networks:
1-the Brussels Health Network,
2-the Walloon Health Network
two local networks in Flanders:
3-Cozo (region of Ghent and Antwerp)
4-VZN (Leuven region).
They all communicate with each other through the federal e-health portal project (Project Hub Métahub).
Belgium is particularly advanced in e-health and there is no equivalent to our health networks in neighbouring countries.
The Brussels Health Network brings together all private, public and university hospitals with Brussels associations of general medicine, the Fédération des Associations de Médecins Généralistes Bruxellois (FAMGB) [Federation of Associations of the General Practitioners of Brussels] and the Brusselse Huiszorgverstrekkers Kring (BAHK) [Brussels Association of General Practitioners].
The cooperation by and between all these key healthcare players led to the creation of the non-profit association Abrumet asbl and the development of the Brussels Health Network.
The Brussels Health Network works in cooperation with the Fédération Régionale des Associations de Télématique Médicale (FRATEM) [Regional Federation of Medical Telematic Associations] (Walloon equivalent of Abrumet), which manages the Walloon Healthcare Network.
The Brussels Health Network is financed by the Commission Communautaire Commune (COCOM) [Common Community Commission] and all the Brussels hospitals.
It benefits from the support of the Ligue des Usagers des Services de Santé (LUSS) [League of Users of Health Services] and the Vlaams Patientenplatform [Flemish Patient’s Platform] (i.e. the French- and Dutch-speaking patients’ associations respectively), and the mutual insurance companies.
It cooperates with the Flemish data exchange networks such the Collaboratief Zorgplatform (CoZo) [Collaborative Care Platform and the Vlaams Ziekenhuisnetwerk KU Leuven (VznkuL) [Catholic University of Leuven Flemish Hospital Network], and with the digital platform of the Flemish authorities Vitalink.