The Swedish government has launched a new citizen-centred national e-health strategy designed around ensuring the provision of information to where it is needed to support improvements in care.
The new e-health strategy focuses on the need to use information and communication technologies (ICT) to achieve improvements for patients, health professionals and decision-makers.
Setting out the future strategy for e-health in the country, the government says it will use appropriate ICT-based tools to “help to ensure that all patients receive adequate, safe, secure health care and good-quality service”.
E-health will be used to ensure care professionals can devote more time to patients and adapt care provision to individual needs. “ICT will be used as a strategic tool at all levels in the care sector, and health care resources as a whole will be utilised more efficiently and effectively,” says the strategy
The government says ICT should support the development of a health service where information is freely available, both in health settings and online. This will include providing citizens with access to personal data on their own care, treatment and health status.
It says citizens “must also be able to contact care services via the internet for assistance, advice or help with self-treatment”. Healthcare professionals meanwhile should have access to efficient, interoperable eHealth solutions that support them in their daily work,” the document says.
Responsibility for care provision and the use of ICT for effective follow-up of patient safety and quality concerns, support management functions and resource distribution, falls to local authorities and health bodies – although the report acknowledges the need for a national approach as well.
“A range of issues relating to ICT use must be solved at national level, based on the collaboration of all actors in the health care sector. These concerns must be dealt with on the basis of a common approach and nationally established guidelines and solutions. A national eHealth strategy is needed to ensure efficient and effective use of ICT.”
Used as a strategic tool, ICT will promote safer, more accessible and efficient health and elderly care services, the strategy says
“Most of the work of enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of ICT use will naturally devolve on the county councils, municipal councils and private care providers concerned. In addition, a range of measures will be required from government at various levels and from other actors in the health and elderly care sector,” the government says.
The strategy also calls for tight security on any e-health system procured. “Increased use of eHealth must be combined with effective security measures designed to ensure that highly sensitive confidential information relating to individual patients or users is securely handled by all involved in care or service delivery.”
The 36 page document looks at progress in Sweden’s healthcare settings to date and lists six action areas for cooperation and coordination at national level. The first three are concerned with establishing better basic conditions for ICT in health and elderly care. The last three are about improving e-health solutions and adapting these to patient needs.
The document can be find in the E-Health Europe document library or by clicking the link below.