journal of biomedical informatics
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Is National eHealth in Slovenia on Track to be an Open eHealth Platform?

Author(s): Mate Beštek* and Peter Eklund

Background: The driving force for information and communication technology in healthcare has been directed towards better-coordinated care but high cost and time consumption in addition to difficulties with cooperation with resident practitioners has hampered progress. Therefore, due to the underestimation of difficulties to manage national eHealth activities, the potential of eHealth in Europe is still to be realized.

Methods: An evaluation of the national eHealth in Slovenia grounded on open platform theory based organizational design principles for eHealth platforms has been conducted. We used a running use case of an eDiabetes digital health intervention as a potential new central service of the national eHealth platform. We discussed all the design principles and also constructed a questionnaire during the process to additionally help with the evaluation.

Results: We have identified a gap that needs to be bridged in order for Slovenia to achieve all the benefits of an open eHealth platform that could become a strategic direction for the future. We constructed a questionnaire that is based on the open platform theory grounded design principles for open eHealth platforms which we used as a helping tool to perform the analysis.

Conclusion: By evaluating the national eHealth in Slovenia against the open eHealth platform organizational design principles, we identified a gap that needs to be bridged to benefit from the positive effects of open eHealth platforms. Being open suggests participation, extension and growth both in terms of demand side users (e.g. patients and doctors) and supply side platform users (e.g. IT companies, HCPs etc.) Shortage of a business model is just one principle that still needs to be met in addition to several others. With this, Slovenia can ground its national eHealth vision and strategy on the results of this analysis.

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