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Management of IT Systems in Primary Health Care (PHC): A Finnish Case Study

Management of IT Systems in Primary Health Care (PHC): A Finnish Case Study
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Author(s): Kari Mäkelä (Tampere University of Technology & Hospital District of South Ostrobothnia, Finland), Irma Virjo (University of Tampere, Finland), Juhani Aho (Jalasjärvi Health Centre, Finland), Pentti Kalliola (Jalasjärvi Health Centre, Finland), Harri Kurunmäki (Lapua Health Centre, Finland), Leena Uusitalo (Kurikka Health Centre, Finland), Markku Valli and Suvi Ylinen
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 2
Source title: Managing Worldwide Operations and Communications with Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-929-8.ch315
ISBN13: 9781599049298
EISBN13: 9781466665378

Abstract

National guidelines in Finland call for nationwide access to electronic patient data by 2007 (1,2). Most of the technical infrastructure to meet this demand has been implemented, in particular all health care providers (Health Centres) in PHC have utilised electronic patient record (EPR) systems for some time. In addition to the technical infrastructure itself, however, it is also necessary to develop management, support and training required for EPR systems to function as efficiently as possible. We have started a long term project in the Finnish region of South-Ostrobothnia in 2003 to study the impact of EPR systems on availability and flow of information between public PHC and secondary care. As part of this major project, we have also attempted to evaluate how well EPR systems in PHC can meet the needs of general practitioners (GPs) and other health care professionals for specific information. Previous studies have indicated differences in quality of data in EPR systems (3). Our previous research has also indicated differences in performance and ranking of patient data for different EPR systems (4). The focus of this study was to investigate further what reasons govern the performance or utility of EPR’s in use in PHC, and in particular to investigate the role of IT management and user training in the overall performance of these systems.

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