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Improving Health Sector Efficiency

The Role of Information and Communication Technologies

image of Improving Health Sector Efficiency
Despite the promise they hold out, implementing information and communication technologies (ICTs) in clinical care has proven to be a very difficult undertaking. More than a decade of efforts provide a picture of significant public investments, resulting in both notable successes and some highly publicised costly delays and failures. This has been accompanied by a failure to achieve widespread understanding among the general public and the medical profession of the benefits of electronic record keeping and information exchange.  

With consistent cross-country information on these issues largely absent, the OECD has used lessons learned from case studies in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United States to identify the opportunities offered by ICTs and to analyse under what conditions these technologies are most likely to result in efficiency and quality-of-care improvements. The findings highlight a number of practices or approaches that could usefully be employed in efforts to improve and accelerate the adoption and use of these technologies.

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Enabling a Secure Exchange of Information

While health care organisations have access to an ever-increasing number of information technology products, achieving system-wide secure exchange of health information remains a serious problem. Drawing from case studies, this chapter examines the actions that governments can take to address this issue.

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