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Lancet. 2004 Jul 17-23;364(9430):295-300.

Can we achieve health information for all by 2015?

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  • 1BMJKnowledge, BMAHouse, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR, UK. fgodlee@bmjgroup.com

Abstract

Universal access to information for health professionals is a prerequisite for meeting the Millennium Development Goals and achieving Health for All. However, despite the promises of the information revolution, and some successful initiatives, there is little if any evidence that the majority of health professionals in the developing world are any better informed than they were 10 years ago. Lack of access to information remains a major barrier to knowledge-based health care in developing countries. The development of reliable, relevant, usable information can be represented as a system that requires cooperation among a wide range of professionals including health-care providers, policy makers, researchers, publishers, information professionals, indexers, and systematic reviewers. The system is not working because it is poorly understood, unmanaged, and under-resourced. This Public Health article proposes that WHO takes the lead in championing the goal of "Universal access to essential health-care information by 2015" or "Health Information for All". Strategies for achieving universal access include funding for research into barriers to use of information, evaluation and replication of successful initiatives, support for interdisciplinary networks, information cycles, and communities of practice, and the formation of national policies on health information.

PMID:
15262109
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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