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Use of information technology to improve quality of healthcare: Kosova's telemedicine project and international virtual e-hospital as an example.

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University of Arizona, Department of Surgery and Arizona Telemedicine Program, USA.


The idea to create the Telemedicine Project of Kosova and the International Virtual e-Hospital Network of Kosova, was presented at G8-Meeting, in Berlin May 4-5, 2000, by the senior author (RL) then Assistant Professor of Surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, Virginia during the presentation, the "The anatomy of war and destruction of Kosova: The alumni view on reconstruction of heath in Kosova". Following wide spread acceptance by many countries and institutions around the world of the idea of creating a virtual e-hospital in Kosova,, became a reality. To ensure the creation of a telemedicine center and realization of the project in Kosova, the Telemedicine Association of Kosova was created in Prishtina, September 30, 2000. On February 2, 2001 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the implementation of TPK was signed between all stakeholders in health in Kosova. After extensive preparation, with the funding from the European Agency for Reconstruction, the Telemedicine Center of Kosova (TCK) was inaugurated on December 10, 2002, making way for the official beginning of the first phase of development of the TPK. This historical moment for Kosova and for the Balkan countries received extensive media coverage locally and abroad. Currently we are at the second year and phase of TPK realization. The Telemedicine Center of Kosova (TCK) is a state-of-the-art telemedicine center, the best in the Balkan and southeastern Europe. As such TCK is providing basic foundations for development of educational medical programs within the Kosova's medical system; as well it is establishing the standards of regional and international consultations and collaboration in the Balkan Peninsula. Furthermore, it is providing a solid basis for creation of human capacity that will lead and implement telemedicine program in the nine regional telemedicine centers of Kosova, for many years and decades to come.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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