Maturity Models in Healthcare IS/IT Investments: Challenges and Trends

Maturity Models in Healthcare IS/IT Investments: Challenges and Trends

Jorge Gomes, Mário Romão
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3473-1.ch137
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


There have been several major drivers for the information systems and information technology (IS/IT) investments in healthcare, such as: The ever-increasing burden from chronic disease with costs growing significantly faster, the recognition of the need for greatly improved quality and safety in healthcare delivery, the increasing amount of patient related information, the long live expectancy and the associated costs, more efficacy and efficiency in treatments, the need of better access to medical care among others. The Maturity Model (MM) approach is an instrument to assess and continually improve organizational processes. MM are based on the premise that entities (people, organizations, functional areas, or processes) evolve towards a more advanced maturity crossing several incremental stages. These models have been used to improve the processes in several health care areas. The use of a MM in healthcare has a great potential for improving information management in the sector. This chapter resumes some of the most important developments on this topic.
Chapter Preview


Healthcare systems play an important role in the European Union and are key to achieving stronger growth and creating highly qualified jobs in a dynamic knowledge-based economy. Improving the health of the population is the defining goal of healthcare systems. The performance of the health systems should therefore be viewed primarily from the perspective of how to improve the overall average level of population health and reduce inequalities in healthcare. The major evolution that is underway in healthcare is mainly driven by demographic changes, which included the increase of the aging population, chronic diseases, cultural changes, progress in sciences and technologies and the recognition of the need for greatly improved quality and safety in the delivery of healthcare. The exponential increase in computer capabilities, the broadening of the reach of the Internet, and the increasing ability to capture and make available the knowledge in a digital form constitute the main technological bases for the electronic conduction of current health care. Information Systems and Information Technology (IS/IT) are providing important opportunities for health stakeholders, providing services as well as ways of accessing information that consumers need. IS/IT are spread and adopted worldwide and used in many sectors, including the health sector.

According to several studies, there is a growing use of IS/IT by citizens and their families regarding the search for health information (Andreassen, 2007; Fox, 2011). Essentially, the purpose of investment in IS/IT is to improve the operational efficiency the organizations, reducing costs and improving levels of performance. Organizations in almost every industry rely on investments in IS/IT to realize benefits after their successful implementation (Gomes and Romão 2015).

The move toward computer information systems began from the 1970s that ultimate goal of these systems is access to Electronic Health Record (EHR) (Shortliffe and Baenett, 2014). EHR implementation results in the improved quality of care, cost effectiveness, customer-orientation and timely access to complete and precise information (Gagnon, 2014; Oderkirk, 2017). Despite the potential benefits of EHR, its implementation is a difficult and complex task whose success and productivity depends on many factors (Yusof et al., 2008; Terry et al., 2008).

The use of IS/IT provides an important support for specialized services, increasing efficiency, quality, safety, and reducing medical errors (Low and Chen, 2012). Despite remarkable technical progress, failures have still been reported when integrating technically sound systems into processes of healthcare (Lorenzi and Riley, 2003).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Maturity Models: A framework for improving an organization’s business result by assessing the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, enabling comparisons with similar organizations, and a measure of the correlation between organizations.

HIMSS: Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

Knowledge-Technology Transfer: Processes by which relevant research information is made available for practice, planning, and policy-making through interactive engagement with audiences and supported by user-friendly materials and a communications strategy.

Information Systems and Information Technology (IS/IT): Any tool or framework that enhances the communication, processing or transmission of information by electronic means for improving human health.

Electronic Health Record (EHR): A digital version of a patient’s paper chart. EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users.

Patient-Centered Approach: Emerged as a primary approach to health care. This approach emphasizes partnerships in health between patients and healthcare professionals, acknowledges patients’ preferences and values, promotes flexibility in the provision of health care and seeks to move beyond the traditional paternalistic approach to healthcare.

Interoperability: Is a feature of IT that refers to the capacity and existence of diverse elements, health provider nodes, of the health care system to exchange and act upon shared information.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: