Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Electronic Health in Perspective of Healthcare Managers: A Qualitative Study in South of Iran

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Electronic Health in Perspective of Healthcare Managers: A Qualitative Study in South of Iran

Article excerpt

Introduction

Current age has been called news age and un-doubtedly each nation and government which is aware of more news will be pioneer in third mil-lennium (1). News age is the age of marvelous speed, ascendancy and change in knowledge. In fact thanks to genius of people who has entered the computer into human life and linked to the internet world, current global village announced a new millennium that enthusiastic for change and evolution in health system management must also welcome that (2).

Other evidence shows that recent progresses in information and communication technology has significantly increased the possibility of infor- mation store and flow (3) as far as the use of the-se technological capabilities in health care sys-tems of the countries has resulted in electronic health systems development (4) that in turn has provided a new and unique opportunity for uni-versal health improvement in the whole world to the extent that a scenario which was inaccessible and unimaginable ten years ago , now due to the existence of electronic health has become a reali-ty : the patients in Africa often from long dis-tance are treated by a physician in other country or continent via using of telemedicine. Electronic health vision is increasingly changing and for shaping this change regional, national and inter-national cooperation is needed (5).

However, what is certain is that health and educa-tion along with information technology consider as basic pillars for nations development. So in complex age prevention and treatment are not the only health systems challenges yet, but speed, accuracy, quality and finally less cost allocation for more health achievement have got more man-ifest priority. In this regard one of the basic strat-egies for health system management is applica-tion of information and communication technol-ogy in health system, in a brief statement, em-barking on the electronic health path (6) and its reason as Michael Porter's words, expensive costs, adverse quality and limitation of healthcare services access have resulted in frustration and anxiety in all health system practitioners (1).

Electronic health is defined as a customer orient-ed model for providing health services thus the citizens are place in the center of services and are able to interact with health specialists who watch their health needs (7). Moreover, electronic health covers all health strategies include prevention, treatment and rehabilitation (8) and on the other hand considering citizens, patients, health special-ists and politicians simultaneously is essential (9). Besides, electronic health as an integrated and multi-disciplinary field can relates main following areas: health systems strategic planning and elec-tronic marketing concepts, all electronic medicine forms related to health professional specialists, team actions and widespread ventures of health technology management (10).

Now after years of discussion and interlocution, a general consensus has been built that information and communication technology is a tool which could be useful and effective for targeting health system challenges in developing countries. In this regard one of the World Health Organization's recommendations to the member countries is strategic plans preparation include rational frame-works and infrastructures in order to ensure suc-cessful implementation electronic health (5). It is expected that electronic health involves in devel-opment of new methods of providing health ser-vices and effects on structure of health services delivery systems. Not only Electronic health con-tains technologic development and progress but also includes reengineering of healthcare process and in fact it focuses on technical-social aspects of design and development of wants and de-mands (2).

While different studies emphasize on the im-portance of electronic health specially in the hos-pitals and its relevant applications and ad-vantages(7-10), there are no evidence of Iranian health care managers viewpoints about this con-cept containing their understanding and knowledge about the topic, its significance, appli-cations, ways of settlement and possible re-sistance to acceptance, its priority comparing with the other infrastructure, advantages and disad-vantages for our country as a developing one. …

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