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Health Policy. 1989;13(3):199-211.

Improving primary health care through technological innovation.


As a result of policy changes and developments on the demand side, the importance of technology in primary health care will grow fast. An approach to the implementation of new technologies in primary health care is presented in this article. First we describe the main problems in Dutch primary health care. The second step is to identify new technologies which are becoming available. Subsequently, the interface between these problems and their possible technological resolution has to be found. The fact that a technological innovation appears to be a solution is not sufficient reason for introducing it. There are all kinds of reasons why an innovation that has proved useful in the hospital situation, for example, might be of doubtful use in primary health care. Accordingly, the next step is to assess whether a technological solution to a problem in primary health care is indeed an improvement. To acknowledge the particular situation of primary health care, a scheme has been developed that may be used to determine criteria of evaluation.

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