Achieving Efficiency Improvements in the Health Sector through the Implementation of Information and Communication Technologies

Achieving Efficiency Improvements in the Health Sector through the Implementation of Information and Communication Technologies
This report presents an analysis of OECD countries' efforts to implement information and communication technologies (ICTs) in health care systems. It provides advice on the range of policy options, conditions and practices that policy makers can adapt to their own national circumstances to accelerate adoption and effective use of these technologies. The analysis draws upon a considerable body of recent literature and in, particular, lessons learned from case studies in six OECD countries (Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United States), all of which reported varying degrees of success deploying health ICT solutions. These ranged from foundational communication infrastructures to sophisticated electronic health record (EHR) systems.

Within the OECD Secretariat, this report was developed by Elettra Ronchi who acted as project manager and principal author, and by M. Saad Khan who provided key contributions. The report, in its various iterations, benefited from comments and suggestions from Martine Durand, Mark Pearson, Gaetan LaFortune, Howard Oxley, Francesca Colombo, Elizabeth Docteur, Peter Scherer, Graham Vickery and the project's Expert Group, which included representatives from OECD member countries, the European Commission, the World Health Organisation, and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC). The Expert Group provided technical input and feedback on the work at three meetings convened during the course of the project. An additional expert meeting was organised by the BIAC at OECD Headquarters in 2007 under the OECD Labour Management Programme.

The authors would like to express particular thanks to country experts who aided in the implementation of case studies, and those members of national administrations who took the time to help the Secretariat. In particular, special thanks go to Hans Haveman and Barend Hofman (Netherlands); Christine Labaty, Nancy Milroy-Swainson, Joseph Mendez and Liz Waldner (Canada); Kerry Burden and David Glance (Australia); Ashish Jha, Blackford Middleton, Micky Tripathi, David Bates, Charles Friedman, Yael Harris, Rachel Nelson, Jenny Harvell (United States); Javier Carnicaero, Oscar Ezinmo, Luis Alegre Latorre, Luis Manzanero Organero and Josep Pomar Reynés (Spain); Daniel Forslund, Enock Ongwae, Gunnel Bridell, and Bengt Åstrand (Sweden); Paivi Hamalainen (Finland); Kristian Skauli (Norway); Erwin Bartels (Germany). Bill Pattinson (Australia) assisted the Secretariat as outside expert consultant on background work for the part on monitoring and benchmarking. Secretarial and administrative support was received from Aidan Curran, Heike-Daniela Herzog, Elma Lopes and Isabelle Vallard.

Thanks are also due to those member countries who supported this project with voluntary contributions: Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain.

This project was co-financed by a grant provided by the Directorate General for Health and Consumers of the European Commission.

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