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11 January 2010

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A Future Gov Publication, Planning Ahead – Is Asia’s Healthcare Sector Ready for the Future?, explores the significance of information technology within healthcare organisations across Asia Pacific, and the strategic value given to electronic record management. It highlights the move of public sector health organisations to greater automation.

Planning Ahead – Is Asia’s Healthcare Sector Ready for the Future?

Source: Future Gov, 2009

In this report researchers sought responses from public sector IT Executives in The People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan. The survey attracted 169 complete responses in total.

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Image credits: Future Gov/ Cover page of the report

The majority of respondents reported that Electronic Record Management (ERM) of patient information over the coming years will be ‘Very Important’ or ‘Somewhat Important’. Hence, both frontline staff and the executive office are taking ERM very seriously.

Most respondents agreed on the importance of Quality Management in ERM, especially over data collection and institutional transparency. Where outsourcing of IT processes hasn’ t been fully adopted, this may be due to a lack of outsourcing agents; that if there are agents, they have had difficulties with integrating into the country system; or, as in the case for China's particular context, the survey wasn't able to capture the details of the organisations outsourcing behaviour.

In areas like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, outsourcing activity has been used for in-house printing facilities, printer management, and document scanning.

Deciding how to identify and then fill the gaps is a challenge that is especially pressing in the healthcare sector, and IT Departments have generally been given autonomy and responsibility to decide how IT budgets will be spent.

The study also measured the length of time that departments were required to keep patient records, even after they were stored digitally. The majority of respondents reported that they were legally bound to keep the records from 4 to 10 years.

In all, 172 responses were received before the study was closed in early October 2009. However, not all questions were answered by all respondents and some were not included.

A total of 169 respondents were included in this study. In addition, five hospital executives in the region were contacted after the initial analysis had been completed and asked for their anecdotal comments on some of the survey questions.

This document highlights the efforts that public sector health organisations in the region place on converting paper forms into digital formats, the move toward greater automation and the improvements this is likely to bring to improving patient care and workflow.

Source : Future Gov

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