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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2014 Jan-Feb;21(1):111-6. doi: 10.1136/amiajnl-2013-001710. Epub 2013 May 30.

Benchmarking health IT among OECD countries: better data for better policy.

Author information

1
School of Public Health, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To develop benchmark measures of health information and communication technology (ICT) use to facilitate cross-country comparisons and learning.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The effort is led by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Approaches to definition and measurement within four ICT domains were compared across seven OECD countries in order to identify functionalities in each domain. These informed a set of functionality-based benchmark measures, which were refined in collaboration with representatives from more than 20 OECD and non-OECD countries. We report on progress to date and remaining work to enable countries to begin to collect benchmark data.

RESULTS:

The four benchmarking domains include provider-centric electronic record, patient-centric electronic record, health information exchange, and tele-health. There was broad agreement on functionalities in the provider-centric electronic record domain (eg, entry of core patient data, decision support), and less agreement in the other three domains in which country representatives worked to select benchmark functionalities.

DISCUSSION:

Many countries are working to implement ICTs to improve healthcare system performance. Although many countries are looking to others as potential models, the lack of consistent terminology and approach has made cross-national comparisons and learning difficult.

CONCLUSIONS:

As countries develop and implement strategies to increase the use of ICTs to promote health goals, there is a historic opportunity to enable cross-country learning. To facilitate this learning and reduce the chances that individual countries flounder, a common understanding of health ICT adoption and use is needed. The OECD-led benchmarking process is a crucial step towards achieving this.

KEYWORDS:

adoption of health IT; cross-country benchmarking; definitions of health IT; health policy

PMID:
23721983
PMCID:
PMC3912720
DOI:
10.1136/amiajnl-2013-001710
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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