Health constitutes the most sensitive social sector. The introduction of new technologies in the health care procedures will immediately affect the quality of the citizens’ life. This is why, specific projects, which aim at facilitating the access of all citizens to the services of primary, secondary and tertiary health care in the framework of a decentralized system where medical specialization and experience will be available to all, will be implemented. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can decisively contribute to the improvement of these services as well as the more rational management of resources to the benefit of citizens.
The introduction of integrated information systems and the access of hospitals and health centers to the national telecommunication infrastructure will strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of continuous health care as regards the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of the patients. Furthermore, both at the level of the hospital and health unit, as well as of the Health system in general, the operational cost can be decreased with rational management procedures.
|Description - Objective
For the better application of the health reform a service has been set up in each Region called Regional Health Administration. There are 17 Regional Health Administrations today (former Regional Health and Welfare System) which are mainly implemented by the IS SA (with the exception of two, the one of Epirus and of the 1st District of Attica) of a total value of approximately 75 million Euros. It is the most important intervention to date in the field of health (Measure 2.6).
The strategy of the Ministry of Health and Welfare in the framework of the 3rd CSF concerns:
- The introduction of information systems for the support of the Regional Health Administrations;
- The gradual completion of the introduction of information technologies to the secondary/ tertiary (Hospitals) and primary health care (Health Centers and personal doctors)
With the creation of the Regional Health Administrations, a support mechanism is set up for the promotion of the reform at a regional level and the implementation of the actions of the OP of Health and Welfare.
The development and operation of the Integrated Health Information System in the Regional Health Administrations aims at the introduction of information and communication technologies to the field of health.
The Integrated Health Information System will directly contribute to the support of institutional and organisational interventions and reforms and indirectly to the upgrading of the quality of services, the restructuring of internal procedures and the provision of services for the citizen.
The project is considered full and perfect as it focuses on the strategic axes of Measure 2.6 of the OP “IS” and, more specifically, on:
- The support of the continuation of health care and welfare for all services and levels of the National Health System concentrating on the citizen;
- The provision of services based on scientifically documented knowledge and the assessment of the result;
- The rational and unified management of health and welfare resources;
- The determination of the cost-result relation at all the levels of providing health and welfare services;
- The equality in the access to all services and levels of the National Health System for all citizens, irrespective of where they live and the social- financial status of their family;
- The strengthening of the citizen’s position with possibilities of better information, right of selection etc.
- The utilisation of the Internet technologies for information and safe data exchange such as, for example, the appointment procedures of the out-patients’ and evening clinics.
The project is absolutely compatible with the scope, objectives and action categories of measure 2.6, while, more specifically, the objectives of the project concern:
- The connection of the scientific and administrative personnel in infrastructures of medical information for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment (Integrated Health Information System);
- The inter-connection of regional and local centers – health units (including centres in remote, mountainous regions) with medical services provided by central points;
- The development of tele-medicine applications;
- The development of systems for safe and confidential access to information networks for the patients.
Furthermore, the project focuses on the categories of Measure 2.6, such as:
- The completion of the introduction of information technologies (laboratories systems, patient’s file etc) to the field of Health, such that the systems of providing health and welfare services will be based on operational data (infrastructures and information distribution systems).
- The development of tele-medicine applications (infrastructures and information distribution systems).
- The equipment of health units on the basis of the total approach of providing health services (infrastructures and information distribution systems).
- The creation of telematic citizen service for health issues (Networking and telematic health services).
This effort is fully harmonized with the new objectives of the European Union in the framework of "eEurope 2005: An Information Society for All".
There is continuous improvement of the situation with the use of new technologies in certain sectors of the field of health with projects that are either in the process of completion or will be completed in the immediate future.
There are nowadays 14 main Hospitals of the country with over 25% of the total of the hospital beds of the country which have modern information and communication equipment (over 1000 new work stations). The ratio of PCs/ employees in the clinic departments of the hospitals is improved to approximately 1:9.
The National Information Blood Collection System is being completed; it will inter-connect 26 blood collection services supporting the monitoring of blood units and their products with compatibility or not when being distributed to other hospitals or clinics, the monitoring of the blood reserves, the better distribution of blood at a national level, the monitoring of blood donors with rare blood groups, the turnover of volunteer blood donors (and blood donors’ associations).
The National Transplant Organisation is at a completion phase; the Transplant Coordination and Control service, 5 Regional Branches of the Transplant Coordination Service, a tissue compatibility laboratory and 23 final users (hospitals –Health Regions), the Information System of Transplant Coordination and Control which allows the updating of a national waiting list for transplantations for organs and tissue transplants as well as the more effective operation of the Renal Insufficiency Support Units through the creation of the pan-Hellenic registry of candidate receivers and its continuous updating.
The specifications of an electronic disability card are soon to be completed, following a relevant study, aiming at establishing an objective and just evaluation system of disabilities and facilitating people with special needs in their transactions with Public Administration and Local Authorities.
The development of the information system of ΟΚΑΝΑ (Organisation Against Drugs) will start presently; this will allow OKANA to more easily process its new units through an upgraded application concerning the file of the patient and document management. Furthermore, through a Portal and interactive services, it will sensitize the society with approved prevention practices.
It is also anticipated that as of the end of 2006, integrated information health systems will be established in the Administrations of Health Regions and its 130 Hospitals, Health Centers and Regional Clinics of their region of a total budget of 72.4 million Euros. These systems concern all the steps of the patient’s care allowing for a more effective use of the resources and the improvement of the qualitative and effective administration of hospitals as well as the provision of better services to the patient on the basis of scientifically documented knowledge.