“Information is the lifeblood for medicine and health information technology is destined to be the circulatory system for that information”
— David Blumenthal
Health information systems allow for health data to be stored, consulted and shared. These information systems contain various types of data: from patient details to information about the operational management of a hospital. Health information systems also include systems that support policy decisions in healthcare, such as a dashboard with information about the number of available beds.
Applications & benefits
Health information systems offer support by providing all of the data for diagnoses, selecting the most appropriate treatment and aligning medication in one and the same place. Recording and sharing information helps reduce the risk of errors and facilitates optimised treatment [1, 2]. For many patients, the most important thing is to be able to access one’s own medical data [3, 4]. This information is particularly visible in personal health environments (PHEs) because they are managed by the patient themselves. This makes these systems ideal for collecting and integrating data from various healthcare providers. Contrary to patient portals of healthcare institutions, the PHE is brought along by a patient when relocating or switching to a different insurer [1, 3, 5].
The global market value for health information systems is expected to grow to over $35 billion in 2028. In 2020, the global market value fell just short of $27 billion. This implies an annual growth rate of around 3.7% between 2020 and 2028 [5, 6]. Especially systems that focus on the collection of data after an intervention are on the rise . And awareness of PHEs among healthcare professionals and patients is growing as well. However, only a small portion of patients currently knows exactly what they are.
Changing healthcare needs
Stimulating legislation and regulations
Growing connectivity and improved data infrastructure
Increasing emphasis on privacy sensitivity
High costs (development, purchase, and maintenance)
Lack of interoperability
Large-scale deployment of health information systems requires interoperability. Systems must be compatible with each other and one system needs to be able to read data from another. The GDPR is turning safe storage and standardisation into the norm. National and international standards such as medMij and HL7-FHIR contribute to this development.
Health information systems are an inherent part of healthcare. Deployment of this technology contributes to personalising healthcare and stimulating patient participation in their own healthcare process. Finally, proper data storage opens the door to research and other applications.
- Steen, J.v.d. and C.v. Haastert, Rapport ‘Persoonlijk Gezondheidsdossier’: Ervaringen en wensen met betrekking tot het Persoonlijk GezondheidsDossier, NPCF
- Honavar, S,. Electronic MedicalRecords: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, 2020
- Digital Guardian. 2021. What is a Health Information System?. [online] Available at: https://digitalguardian.com/blog/what-health-information-system [Accessed 23 August 2021].
- Voorop voor dokter en zorg. 2020. Privacy en patiëntgegevens. [online] Available at: https://www.knmg.nl/advies-richtlijnen/dossiers/privacy-en-patientgegevens.htm [Accessed 24 August 2021].
- Nictiz, eHealth-monitor 2019: Samen aan zet!, 2019
- Grandviewresearch.com. 2021. Electronic Health Records Market Size Report, 2021-2028. [online] Available at: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/electronic-health-records-ehr-market [Accessed 24 August 2021].
- Allied Market Research, Global Electronic Health Records (EHR) Market Expected to Reach $33,294 Million by 2023, 2018