Streamlining Operations in Healthcare with ICT

Streamlining Operations in Healthcare with ICT

Reima Suomi (Turku School of Economics and Business Administration, Finland)
Copyright: © 2001 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-89-6.ch003
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Health care is an information-intensive industry. Its cornerstones are a research tradition of hundreds of years, and detailed understanding of each customer, patient. As compared to other industries, say banking, the data about the customer needs to be very detailed, and must include trend data to allow analysis of the development of things. When caring for a patient, even very special knowledge and know-how is often needed, and this compels the industry into a networked mode of operation, with a lot of communication needs. With this background, it is astonishing to see how slowly the industry has adopted to new information and communication technology (ICT). Currently, however, a major revolution is under way, and the health care industry has become a key application area for ICT, and an object for both national and international programs to promote usage of ICT. We want to understand these trends better. Our research questions are: 1. Which reasons led to the late adoption of modern ICT in the healthcare sector? 2. Why is the situation now changing fast? 3. Which seem to be the main application areas? 4. Which kind of progress can we now see? To each of the research questions, we allocate one section in our chatper. This article is conceptual in nature, but argumentation is supported by concrete examples and field work done at the author’s Institute in more than 10 projects in the health care sector. The main conclusions are that:

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