Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Delivery of Health Care Services

Kęstutis Štaras, Monika Mačiulienė, Viktorija Stokaitė

Abstract


This paper analyses the influence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the delivery of healthcare services in order to find out the opinion of health care professionals. The results of 2010 and 2012 survey in Centre Clinic (Vilnius, Lithuania) are analysed and compared. The research topic is very relevant, given the spread and prevalence of the ICT. It should be noted that the rapid development of the ICT has led to miscellaneous changes (new organizational tools, changes in management practices), which resulted in internal and external transformations in health institutions. Health care institutions are facing various challenges as an outcome of the ICT development, including innovative thinking, collaboration and the need for authorities to foster synergy in health care institutions. Analogical results of foreign researchers confirmed the importance of organizational communication. Due to the influence of technological development on the ways health care institutions are operating, this study is particularly relevant in the light of the need for co-operation and dynamic linkages to organizational processes.
In this paper, methods of literature analysis as well as review of foreign best practices are applied. To collect empirical data, a survey was conducted in Centre Clinic (Vilnius, Lithuania) in 2010 and 2012. In 2010, 144 health care professionals (who used the ICT in their workplace) were surveyed, whereas in 2012, 252 health care professionals were interviewed. Case study analysis was made, based on the empirical results. According to their working experience, specialization,
and computer literacy, empirical data were compared on these dimensions:
• Influence of the currently used ICT on the quality of health care services;
• Influence of the ICT on the quality and accessibility of health care services;
• Development and spread of the ICT in health care facilities;
• Importance of the ICT used in the facility when applying for a job position.
The paper includes research review and identification of common criteria, which derived from the analysis of scientific literature on the influence of the ICT on health care delivery.
As an outcome of the ICT development, health care institutions are facing various challenges, including lack of innovative thinking, collaboration and synergy between members of organizations. The results of this research and available foreign studies confirmed the importance of organizational communication, therefore, it is recommended to carry out further investigations to find the reasons why the opinion of health care professionals on the ICT has deteriorated.

Keywords


health policy; e-health; information and communication technologies; health care services

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13165/SPV-13-1-5-10

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"Health Policy and Management" ISSN online 2029-9001 / ISSN print 2029-3569