Public social security institutions in Belgium have teamed up to promote and amplify software and services re-use. They exchange best practices and detailed descriptions of re-usable components. The institutions' common ICT organization, Smals, has measured a 13% cost reduction thanks to software re-use in 2018. Further adoption of the reuse program, focusing on reusing components and making more components reusable, should increase the cost reduction margin.
The 'Re-use initiative' aims at promoting the reuse of components, systems, services... They are made available to other Belgian public institutions through a catalogue of re-usable elements: https://reuse.smals.be. The initiative is bundling ICT efforts of Belgian public social security institutions and their shared ICT services organization Smals (www.smals.be).
An important contributing institution is the Belgian eHealth-platform - a federal public institution, created by law on 21/8/2008, charged with promoting and developing electronic services and digital information exchange for / by / between all actors in health care. It organizes information security, guarantees the privacy of patients and practitioners, and respects the medical secret. The eHealth-platform is working towards better quality and continuity of medical care, the protection of patient safety, and simplification of administrative procedures for all parties concerned. It also supports political decision making on health care topics, through data driven decision making.
The eHealth-platform has established an important portfolio of online services, in close collaboration with other stakeholders in Belgium (government & regulatory bodies, mutual insurance companies, suppliers of meds and medical devices, hospitals, doctors, pharmacists, associations, independent software vendors...). The portfolio consists of basic services (identification, certificates, access control, secure messaging, timestamping...) and value added services. While basic services are offered free of charge, the value added services can be developed by any (private) actors, reusing the existing services.
The eHealth-services have become the cornerstone of secure & confidential information exchange in Belgian health care. Over 13.000.000.000 electronic messages are exchanged annually (2018) using its services. The rapid adoption of the eHealth-services leads to tangible benefits for all stakeholders.