SPMS is implementing a new corporate productivity suite

SPMS

The Shared Services of the Ministry of Health (SPMS) is responsible for guaranteeing the quality, sustainability, reliability, and resilience of the services and products of information systems in the health sector.

The National Strategy for the Health Information Ecosystem 2020 (ENESIS 2020), approved in the Council of Ministers in 2016, was a political and administrative milestone that accelerated the efforts made by the Ministry of Health (MH) in the sense of developing and deepening digital transformation, while providing it with logic and coverage.
The SPMS coordinates and supervises the implementation of ENESIS, ensuring its operationalization and promotion, and also the best-practices dissemination.

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 proper hardware.

The challenge

The Ministry of Health’s focus on computerisation and de-bureaucratisation is an ongoing process that aims at facilitating and improving the life of users and the performance of health professionals, thereby sparing the environment and reducing the use of resources while boosting the search for new treatments.

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, as it is a record that can be exchanged between the user, health professional, and health service providers, whether they are public or private entities.

The goal of the Electronic Health Record is to dematerialise procedures and processes. One successful case is the Paperless Prescription, that stands out due to its innovative character, and that brings distinct advantages to physicians, pharmacists, citizens, and to the overall health system."

Henrique Martins
President of the Board of Directors of SPMS

“The paperless prescription, that appeared first in the public health units and then in the private sector, came to replace the paper prescription gradually, resulting in significant cost reduction and procedure simplification.”

In this case, citizens receive their prescription via email, or SMS. In addition, they can buy their medicine in any pharmacy, regardless of its location, and check their treatment plan on their smartphones via the MySNS Carteira electrónica app, or Área do Cidadão in the SNS Portal.

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The solution

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 that digital transformation is bringing to the health sector.

Given the historical evolution of the SPMS and MH’s technological ecosystem, Microsoft products and services are vital and extremely important to the solutions, systems and services provided by the SPMS to the Portuguese and European health system.

Since 2016 this Ministry uses a central corporate suite, to manage its electronic mail, the sharing documents and files platforms, collaborative work, news, and other individual productivity tools used in a professional context.

So, there are 126,683 employees who are qualified for corporate use of the single corporate electronic mail platform that serves the entire Ministry – i.e. a single unified and centralised electronic mail platform that can be used by all MH employees.

Claranet’s participation was vital to accomplishing the aspiration of providing the MH with a corporate productivity suite that can be used by all MH professionals."

Henrique Martins
President of the Board of Directors of SPMS

Claranet, as the external partner of SPMS in this corporate productivity project, played an essential role by providing the expertise, professionalism, and availability that this project required to be successful.

Results

The advantages arising from this centralised productivity suite are more than just the economic efficiency that comes from the economies of scale, or the increased effectiveness in central proactive management that allows for improved harmonisation and use of features that are provided to more than 62 entities in the MH. Most of all, this suite brings increased security and defence against cybersecurity risks.

SPMS' corporate suite is one of the safest cloud-based individual productivity services available in the Portuguese market – if not the safest of products of this nature that are currently 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.

Other than the cybersecurity and governance concerns, 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 that are provided to more than 62 entities in the MH.

We should mention that 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 one 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".

Henrique Martins
President of the Board of Directors of SPMS

There were several improvements in the multiple activity sectors of the entities encompassed by the MH for the better - from the inevitable information security and cybersecurity matter, to governance and elimination of the “shadow IT”, to the even higher degree of collaboration, effectiveness and economic sustainability of health care providers.

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