A comparative analysis of how four high-income nations—Australia, Canada, Denmark, and the United States—are using health information and communications technologies (ICTs) to manage care for chronically ill patients identified four key themes:
1) National strategies are implemented and adapted on a regional level.
2) Each country struggles to ensure that patients’ clinical information is transmitted from one care setting to the next.
3) Tele-health approaches are not widely used or well-integrated with other ICT efforts.
4) Clinical data are being made available to patients, but are not being used to engage patients in managing their own care. All countries could benefit from opportunities for shared learning in these areas.
Given these nations’ common challenges, the authors conclude there is substantial opportunity to promote cross-national learning about effective ways to use ICT to improve chronic care. This learning could be facilitated by efforts to catalogue health ICT strategies, implementation approaches, and impact on chronic care outcomes; such efforts could build on initiatives now being led by the World Health Organization, the European Commission, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Existing forums that bring together leaders in health ICT, such as the International Medical Informatics Association, should be leveraged to promote learning.
Publication: J. Adler-Milstein, N. Sarma, L. R. Woskie et al., “A Comparison of How Four Countries Use Health IT to Support Care for People with Chronic Conditions,” Health Affairs, Sept. 2014 33(9):1559–66.