Shared Healthcare in a Regional E-Health Network

Shared Healthcare in a Regional E-Health Network

Kari Harno (Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-356-2.ch024


Healthcare information exchange is transforming the practice and structure of healthcare delivery. This chapter introduces the building of a regional e-health network between public healthcare providers as well as the necessary legal foundation and governance for this successful deployment in a Finnish Hospital District. An overview is presented of prerequisite building blocks, such as policies supporting the knowledge-intensive e-health services and the creation of a partnership between shareholders enabling regional e-health delivery. The roadmap to a national e-health network is paved on the premises of these experiences and lessons learned are transferred to described concepts when migrating to a national e-health network. Understanding these principles and critical success factors (i.e., the role of stakeholders, governance, and financing) is essential for guidance to implement viable cross-organizational information exchange. In this context ICT not only fulfills the objective of cost containment, but also creates positive impacts on patient care and service quality.
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Transformation Of Healthcare With Ict

It is widely acknowledged that one of the greatest challenges facing healthcare information technology today is the effective sharing of clinical and administrative information among healthcare providers. Although timely sharing of patient data has been slowed down by issues such as security, privacy and confidentiality, lack of standards has created obstacles to achieving interoperability between different information systems.

Key Terms in this Chapter

National eHealth Network: A network of networks that will connect health care providers, pharmacies, citizens and others who have, or use, health-related data and services including a national data repository for care records and ePrescriptions operated under a legal framework and based upon common standards for interoperability.

Seamless Services: Continuity of care between providers.

Regional Health Information Organization: An organization that brings together health care stakeholders within a defined geographic area and governs the electronic exchange of health-related information among them for the purpose of improving health and care.

Personal Health Record: An electronic, cumulative record od health-relarted information on an individual, drawn from multiple sources, that is created, gathered, and managed by the individual.

Healthcare Information Exchange: The electronic movement of health-related data and information among organizations according to agreed standards, protocols, and criteria.

Shared Care: Closer collaboration between providers and also clinical integration for the development of clinical networks to improve the quality of services.

Regional eHealth network: Health information exchange within a self-defined region in order to achieve higher quality and greater efficiency in health care delivery.

Core Data Set: Organized and structured data of the most relevant facts about a patient’s health information and healthcare prepared by health care providers to enable easy access to information, to foster continuity of care, and to enhance efficiency of health information exchange.

Electronic Health Record: An aggregate electronic record of health-related information on an individual that is created and gathered cumulatively across more than one health care organization.

Integration: The process of bringing together related parts into a single system in order to make various components function as a connected system.

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