Wednesday, September 03, 2014
The Irish Have Identified Just How Hard National E-Health Can Be! And Seems To Have A Sensible Plan.
This appeared last week.
First published: Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 01:00
One of the many challenges facing new Minister for Health Leo Varadkar will be to oversee the Government’s ehealth strategy, published by his predecessor, James Reilly, at the end of last year.
It will require investment not just in information technology but in new work practices and governance structures in the health service. It will be a slow process but, if handled properly, should pay big dividends for patient safety and for the healthcare system generally.
Ehealth is described as a fully integrated digital supply chain, involving “high levels of automation and information sharing”. In English, that means making consistent, accurate information about every patient available when and where it is needed, eliminating duplication, increasing patient safety and improving, for example, the management of chronic illnesses.
The strategy document claims investment in ehealth infrastructure has the potential to bring significant economic benefits.
Healthcare is changing radically as a result of demographic, organisational and resourcing factors, as well as the proliferation of new technology, it notes.
“These factors mean that future healthcare systems will need to be radically different in order to respond efficiently and equitably to forecasted demand.”
Prof Jane Grimson, acting chief executive of the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa), says forecasts suggest healthcare will consume a large percentage of GDP in most developed countries by 2050.
All developed countries and many developing countries have ehealth strategies, she says. “They’re all investing in ehealth because everybody is convinced it can really offer benefits in terms of improved patient safety, as well as improved efficiencies.
“There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that this is true. However, the really good, strong evidence about benefits of ehealth tend to be mostly at local hospital level or a GP practice level.”
Prof Grimson says implementing ehealth solutions at a national level “has been a challenge everywhere”.
“A lot of countries have invested and wasted a lot of money and had to start all over again.”
Creating electronic health records, integrating information from multiple sources – including monitoring devices and sensors – as well as major changes in governance and work practices and a realignment of health budgets will all be part of the huge challenge.
Lots more here:
The caption for the picture for the article says it all.
Prof Jane Grimson: ‘We have the opportunity to learn from other people’s mistakes.’
I have to say what I read that Prof. Grimson is saying makes a great deal of sense. I hope she succeeds so there will be one decent example of things being done is a more sensible fashion - slowly, carefully, evidence based with decent leadership and governance.
I wish them the luck of the Irish with this!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Wednesday, September 03, 2014