Article: article from journal or magazin.
Ambulatory healthcare information system: a conceptual framework
Publication types: Journal Article - Publication Status: ppublish
Despite the tremendous amount of data collected in the field of ambulatory care, political authorities still lack synthetic indicators to provide them with a global view of health services utilization and costs related to various types of diseases. Moreover, public health indicators fail to provide useful information for physicians' accountability purposes. The approach is based on the Swiss context, which is characterized by the greatest frequency of medical visits in Europe, the highest rate of growth for care expenditure, poor public information but a lot of structured data (new fee system introduced in 2004). The proposed conceptual framework is universal and based on descriptors of six entities: general population, people with poor health, patients, services, resources and effects. We show that most conceptual shortcomings can be overcome and that the proposed indicators can be achieved without threatening privacy protection, using modern cryptographic techniques. Twelve indicators are suggested for the surveillance of the ambulatory care system, almost all based on routinely available data: morbidity, accessibility, relevancy, adequacy, productivity, efficacy (from the points of view of the population, people with poor health, and patients), effectiveness, efficiency, health services coverage and financing. The additional costs of this surveillance system should not exceed Euro 2 million per year (Euro 0.3 per capita).
Ambulatory Care, Humans, Information Systems, Models, Organizational, Switzerland
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