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The recent update of the SAP Health Product Strategy pertains to roadmap items only, meaning developments SAP considers releasing in the future. SAP Patient Management, known under its acronym IS-H, including its localizations, stays completely untouched and continues to follow the SAP Business Suite 7 mainstream maintenance until 2027 with optional extended maintenance until end of 2030.

Which concerns have been raised regarding the prior strategy?

SAP Patient Management customers, specifically in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, demand choice and guidance regarding their future ERP landscape, not to be limited to cloud-only but also including on-premise and hybrid environments as options. They also call for flexibility in working with their hospital information system vendor of choice, an established technical integration with SAP S/4HANA and following applicable local data protection standards is key. Trust, stability, and continued transparency associated with the SAP Health Product roadmap, ensuring continuity of current and future IT infrastructure investments is expected as well as clarity regarding timelines and investments when planning for their individual, customer-specific roadmap to transition to SAP S/4HANA, in close collaboration with SAP Consulting and/or SAP services partners is crucial.

What are the updated plans?

SAP plans to provide an HL7®FHIR® interface on SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) with connectivity to SAP S/4HANA and Analytics, in addition to the existing APIs for on-premise deployments, thus enabling hospital information system vendors to connect their clinical to SAP solutions. In line with its corporate product strategy, SAP invests into developing an open healthcare partner ecosystem, inviting partners of all types to join as part of the existing SAP partner engagement models. SAP offers an attractive proposition to partners managing “healthcare data centers” through RISE with SAP, S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition Customer Data Center Option, including Application Management Services.

What are the objectives regarding our customers?

The objective of the SAP Health Product Strategy is to provide our current as well as future customers, with a modular healthcare system landscape to run their ERP processes on SAP together with an open healthcare partner ecosystem. This enables our customers to benefit from the modular hospital information landscape of the future. Covering customers‘ own patient accounting and clinical processes, SAP enables customer choice to work with their preferred hospital information system vendor connected to SAP‘s Intelligent Suite through the FHIR interface. With this decision, SAP provides SAP Patient Management customers increased flexibility and a solid foundation to plan their own transition to SAP S/4HANA prior to end of maintenance of SAP Business Suite.

What are the objectives regarding our partners?

The open healthcare partner ecosystem strategy provides the partner community with the opportunity to holistically complement their portfolio and service offerings, generating increased target market reach as well as increased customer lifetime value. Partners can lead with their domain expertise, servicing an industry under pressure, and by providing innovative industry solutions built on SAP technology, addressing specific healthcare customer challenges. Hospital information system partners could position the integration between their clinical solutions and the SAP Intelligent Suite enabling value-add and innovative use cases as a strong and unique selling proposition to their installed-base customers as well as to prospects. With that comprehensive offering, they can address hospital chains and health customers of all sizes, even across the industry’s boundaries. SAP decided to leave the development of patient accounting and administration as well as clinical applications to partners.

And what remains the same?

SAP is absolutely committed to supporting our customers and partners in the healthcare industry and actively listens to their voices, continuing to offer the broadest choices possible, not only regarding deployment and integration options but also partner solutions. – SAP also honors its existing commitments to the solution SAP Patient Management, a trusted solution proven in the market for more than 25 years.

What is the recommendation now?

As system landscapes strongly vary in complexity, in heterogeneity, solutions, operations and requirements there is obviously no one-size-fits-all approach. However, for customers running SAP Business Suite and SAP Patient Management it is recommended to develop and execute a strategy that first focuses on and builds out a stable, next generation Digital Core on SAP with S/4HANA, Business Technology Platform and Analytics at its center – hybrid, to the extent needed to be best prepared for business innovations to come.

With SAP Patient Management side-by-side, which is in use by many customers already, the right capabilities exist to facilitate a smooth transition now while securing a stable operation and End-to-End process support. Customers should use the transition phase to consolidate custom developments, other solutions, and legacy systems, define and implement new state of the art end-to-end processes, and connect departmental and special solutions to this Digital Core. Additionally, this leads to the opportunity to infuse sustainability into each process, make supply chains and procurement processes resilient for today’s and future challenges, take action for workforce and patient experience and benefit from growing business networks. On the other hand partners get the necessary time to adapt, develop and integrate their solutions based on the latest healthcare interoperability standards and this will result in more and better offerings going forward.

With this, customers will have more time, resources and offerings to choose from and can implement the best modular Clinical Information System incl. patient accounting for their requirements. While inevitably coming with initial efforts and investment requirements, it will ultimately result in stability moving forward.  The journey can be started already today to reduce complexity and risks for subsequent challenges and innovations.

With those clear directions in place, now it is time to plan your individual strategy to design and execute your own modular hospital information system of the future!