Monitoring Availability and Use of Ehealth in Denmark: Moving Ehealth Policies Forward

Sidsel Villumsen

Research output: ThesisPh.D. thesis

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eHealth is regarded as a key enabler for modern, patient-centred and efficient
healthcare. Across the world, countries are implementing eHealth to improve
healthcare delivery and eHealth adoption has increased substantially. Governments develop eHealth policies to define and prioritise initiatives, strategic goals, and the resulting benefits. As eHealth adoption increases, as does the importance of commonly agreed, reliable, and valid indicators to monitor the adoption and impacts of eHealth. Realising the promises of eHealth, requires collating experiences and identifying successes, failures and their causes, in order to learn from past and current activities and to provide evidence for eHealth policy development and implementation. Consequently, eHealth policies should be informed by evidence of what works and what does not. However, obtaining this evidence and applying it in eHealth policy development and implementation is not a straightforward endeavour.

In order to establish a strategy for monitoring and evaluating eHealth policies, policy makers should adopt a strategic management approach to eHealth policy development and implementation. National eHealth monitoring, aiming at evaluating policy implementation and benefit realisation, should wisely integrate a benefits management perspective. Identifying the value streams of eHealth policy and mapping the dependencies between the visions, anticipated benefits, and the technological and organisational changes needed will provide an overview of key elements in eHealth policy development and implementation. This approach will support the correlation between eHealth visions and practice. Nevertheless, developing indicators reflecting the constructs of eHealth policy is not as simple as it might seem. Indicators are context dependent and in-depth knowledge of the context in which the indicator data is produced, is required to ensure that the indicators actually reflect the construct of interest. Applying methodological approaches and frameworks from international collaborations on eHealth monitoring and benchmarking will increase the opportunities for cross-country learning. If the results of monitoring and evaluation are made public, this will add to the aggregate international evidence base of what works and what does not. As the challenges in realising the promises of eHealth are similar across borders and even continents, learning from others’ experiences seems a wise approach when embarking on eHealth policy development and implementation. Building an evidence base for informing eHealth policies is necessary to move eHealth policy making forward. The promise of evidence-based policies is, however, a mirage, and often the result is policy-based evidence. Policy making encompasses numerous considerations and is based on notions of value in politics. Researchers and academics seeking to influence policies are obliged to inform within the context of the policy process – not advocating a specific course of action but rather illustrating the evidence-informed options and, in return, policy makers must be transparent in the commissioning and use (or lack hereof) of evidence when developing future eHealth policies.
Translated title of the contributionMonitorering af udbredelse og anvendelse af sundheds-IT i Danmark
Original languageEnglish
  • Nøhr, Christian, Supervisor
Place of PublicationOdense
Publication statusPublished - 24. May 2019

Note re. dissertation

Grad tildelt 01-10-2019

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