Management of patient information: Trends and challenges in Member States
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have great potential to improve health in both developed and developing countries by enhancing access to health information and making health services more efficient; they can also contribute to improving the quality of services and reducing their cost. Patient information systems, for example, have the ability to track individual health problems and treatment over time, giving insight into optimal diagnosis and treatment of the individual as well as improving the delivery of services. This is particularly useful for chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and for maternal and child health services where a record of health and treatment over a period of time is required. Analysis of data in patient information systems can lead to new insight and understanding of health and disease, both chronic and acute.
Over the past decades, there have been great advances in ICTs for health, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has responded by establishing the Global Observatory for eHealth (GOe) to assess the adoption of eHealth in Member States as well as the benefits that ICTs can bring to health care and patients’ well-being. To that end, the second global survey on eHealth was launched in late 2009, designed to explore eight eHealth areas in detail.