Tested in Finland: Information will flow between future patient data management systems

Photo: Sanna Virkkunen from Oulu University Hospital demoes the integration between patient data management systems at OuluHealth DemoDate Event the 19th October 2016.

OuluHealth ecosystem has reached an important milestone by opening a digital patient health record for innovation purposes. Utilizing open interfaces for integration of different patient data management systems has been successfully tested at the OYS TestLab in Oulu, Finland. During testing, information transferred seamlessly between three patient information systems: the Oulu University Hospital’s Esko system, Tieto’s Lifecare and CGI’s OMNI360 healthcare systems. The results achieved in testing pave the way for future where data and records move seamlessly between different healthcare systems.   

Oulu University Hospital has been developing the Esko system in Oulu with a user-centric approach, and the Finnish Medical Association has chosen the system as the best in Finland.

“We use the latest technology and develop our solutions constantly. Right from the beginning the development process has included doctors, nurses, document management specialists and information technology experts. We’ve received very good feedback especially about the usability of the service”, says Pasi Meriläinen, System Manager from Oulu University Hospital.

OYS TestLab testing facilities and their digital testing platform has now been opened for the first time to all companies who are looking test integration and data transfer between different systems. The OYS TestLab will also be used to train medical students as they can use the Esko testing system to enter clinical records and other information and test it in practice, which is unique in Finland.

Seamless integration brings savings

One of the central elements in well-functioning healthcare solution is that information concerning a patient’s treatment moves effortlessly between different systems at various levels. For example, when a patient is hospitalized, the doctor currently does not have access to the patient’s medication records from primary healthcare. In the future, this information will be found directly through the Esko system.

These applications have been tested in practice at OYS TestLab’s test environment between 3 different systems: Oulu University Hospital’s Esko system, Tieto’s Lifecare and CGI’s OMNI360 system. ICT service companies Tieto and CGI have opened the interfaces for test use, and the OYS TestLab environment has produced good results.

“Previously we had problems with transferring the information in a cost effective and seamless manner between one system and another. The systems do talk with each other at the moment to some extent, but every exchange of information has had to be specifically requested or programmed. In the future, the information will be exchanged swiftly and seamlessly”, says Sanna Virkkunen, OYS TestLab’s digital platform main architect from Oulu University Hospital.

“It is vital for both healthcare and social services that the patient’s whole treatment path can be accessed from different systems. This reduces treatment costs and queues notably and improves treatment planning and implementation”, says Kimmo Alaniska, Tieto’s Head of Healthcare.

Finland is a forerunner in open interfaces

Tieto and CGI started cooperation aiming to open interfaces already in the beginning of 2000, when the companies developed interfaces for referrals and treatment feedback, that have later become national standards.

”In Finland we have a long history of active cooperation in developing systems – also between competitors. We are global forerunners in open interfaces, for example in transferring structured medical information from one system to another.  Environments such as OYS TestLab allow interoperability of systems as well as user-based testing, and they also function as an excellent growth platform for new ideas and business collaboration. It is important that Finnish market for the social services and healthcare information systems will develop on healthy basis and the possibilities of the modern technology are fully explored”, says CGI’s Customer and Patient Databases Manager Juha Sorri.

Healthcare of the future will be mobile, interactive and analytical

In addition to creating conversational systems, the future will see more mobile and electronic service applications. Hoitu is a unique mobile app for the Esko system, developed by Oulu University Hospital.

“At the moment Hoitu is being used in Oulu’s University Hospital’s emergency room and in the future it will be adapted to the departments, too. With the app, nursing staff can check the patient’s general situation with just one glance and prioritize the critical patients with an up-to-date patient list which has information on their situation and patient-specific requirements set by experts”, Meriläinen describes.


Additional information:

Pasi Meriläinen
System Manager
Northern Ostrobothnia’s hospital district
+358 40 558 3901

Sanna Virkkunen
Project Manager
Northern Ostrobothnia’s hospital district
+358 40 353 9901

Kimmo Alaniska
Manager, Healthcare
+358 40 8468 355

Juha Sorri
Manager, Customer and Patient Databases
+358 40 500 8155


Oulu University Hospital

Oulu University Hospital (OYS) is the northernmost of Finland’s five university hospitals. In the OYS responsibility area there are approx. 400 000 and in the special responsibility area of Northern Finland approx. 740 000 inhabitants.

OYS TestLab

OYS TestLab is a development and test environment for companies to test and develop their products and ideas in an authentic hospital environment and with genuine users. Oulu University Hospital uses the laboratory to develop their processes and to model and simulate building projects for the Future Hospital programme.

Information about the TestLab and Hospital of the Future 2030


Tieto aims to capture the significant opportunities of the data-driven world and turn them into lifelong value for people, business and society. Tieto aims to become customers’ first choice for business renewal as the leading Nordic software and services company. Having a strong role in the ecosystems, we use our software and services capabilities to create tools and services that simplify everyday life of millions of people; to help our customers renew their businesses by capturing the opportunities of modernization, digitalization and innovation and to foster new opportunities based on openness, co-innovation and ecosystems.


CGI (Consultants to Government and Industry) is a global IT and business process services provider delivering high-quality business consulting, systems integration and outsourcing services. With 65,000 professionals in 40 countries, CGI has an industry-leading track record of on-time, on-budget projects, aligning our teams with clients’ business strategies to achieve top-to-bottom line results.


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