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Article: "Integrated Clinical Information Systems" (Swiss Journal of Medical Informatics, Spring 2004), Angelo Rossi Mori

By computerizing health records, we can avoid dangerous medical mistakes, reduce costs, and improve care. The future of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in healthcare is citizen-oriented. The transition from the previous facility-centred approach turns into an unprecedented political challenge. In fact, it implies the simultaneous deployment of ICT in large communities and the integration of clinical, organizational and economic information. The analysis of the ongoing transition processes in the most reactive countries shows that it takes several years to go through the following unavoidable phases: (i) diffuse Awareness that innovative ICT solutions can improve quality of care and optimize resources, (ii) debate to reach a common Vision across stakeholders and production of a White Book, (iii) definition of a long-term Roadmap with short-term milestones, (iv) creation of an eHealth Agency to support the coordination of ICT professionals and the dissemination of know-how, (v) launch an Acceleration Program with significant (federal) financial resources. The close cooperation among jurisdictions within a country and the international cooperation — throughout all the phases of this process — can produce faster and more robust solutions, at minor cost

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