E-Health – Improvement of the Health Care System through the Application of Information and Communication Technology

Rajko OSTOJIĆ, Vlatka BILAS, Sanja FRANC

Abstract


Concern about health is a continuous necessity, and in modern living conditions information and communication technology enables faster and simpler access to health care and overcomes the gap between spatial and time distance, which simplifies provision of services. There is great potential for e-health in the future, it is even likely to become an imperative of modern society. A well organized and efficient health care system that promotes innovation in areas such as e-health brings benefits for individuals, society and the economy as a whole. In this paper, advantages, disadvantages and obstacles to the use of e-health are determined in the case of EU countries and the Republic of Croatia, with focus on the potential of e-health to improve the health care system. A qualitative research was conducted in the form of semi-structured interviews with 49 participants in the Republic of Croatia from June to October 2011. In Croatia there are several different models of health informatization and this diminishes both the transparency and efficiency of the whole process as well as undermines e-health benefits for health and health care system improvement. Factors are described that influence the success of e-health implementation and delivery, ultimately enabling the development of a systematic, successful and sustainable e-health development strategy in Croatia.

Keywords


e-health; European Union; Republic of Croatia

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096