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Int J Med Inform. 2006 Mar-Apr;75(3-4):306-14. Epub 2005 Oct 4.

Primary healthcare information system--the cornerstone for the next generation healthcare sector in Republic of Croatia.

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  • 1Ericsson Nikola Tesla d.d., Krapinska 45, P.O. Box 93, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia.


At no time in the history of medicine has the growth in knowledge and technologies been so profound [Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, Institute of Medicine (IOM), 2001. ISBN 0-309-07280-8]. However, healthcare delivery systems today are not able to keep up with the pace. Studies have shown that it takes an average of about 17 years for new knowledge generated by randomized trials to be incorporated into practice [B. Andrew, S. Boren, Managing clinical knowledge for health care improvement, in: Yearbook of Medical Informatics, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD, 2000, pp. 65-70]. It is safe to say that today healthcare systems "have the data, but not information". In order to provide highest quality patient care, Republic of Croatia has started the process of introducing enterprise information systems to support business processes in the healthcare domain. Two major requirements are in focus: to provide efficient healthcare related data management in support of decision-making processes; and to support continuous process of healthcare resources spending optimization. The first initiated project refers to Primary Healthcare Information System (PHCIS) that provides domain of primary care with state-of-the-art enterprise information system that connects General Practitioners, Pediatricians and Gynecologists offices with the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance and Public Health Institute. In the years to come, PHCIS will serve as the main integration platform for connecting all other stakeholders and levels of healthcare (e.g. hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories) into single enterprise healthcare network. This article gives an overview of PHCIS, explains challenges that were faced in designing and implementing the system, and elaborates PHCIS role as the cornerstone for the next generation healthcare provisioning in Republic of Croatia.

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