Call to build eHealth into the care system
October 07 2015 01:15 AM

Hans C Ossebaard: says eHealth can be used in a big way to ensure safety and quality in healthcare.

By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter

A revolutionary healthcare concept, eHealth could transform and enhance the quality of the healthcare services immensely, a leading international expert said yesterday.
“Global healthcare issues of  preserving quality of care with less resources would be solved with contributions from eHealth,” Hans C Ossebaard from the Institute for Health Care Quality Netherlands, told the ongoing 32nd Conference of the International Society for
Quality in Healthcare (ISQua).
Observing that e-Health is less expensive, ubiquitous, participative and qualitative, he explained that eHealth was about the use of information and communication technology to reinforce health and healthcare.
“eHealth refers to forms of prevention and education, diagnostics, therapy and care delivered through technology, independently of time and place.  We should focus on building eHealth into the care system, with support from improvement sciences.”
Ossebaard pointed out that 70 to 80% of the diseases were preventable in the modern age and eHealth could be a great boon in this regard. He cited his own experience where he could get proper treatment using eHealth while he was some 300km away from his doctor.
“eHealth generates new contents of care such as blended care where conventional mental healthcare is combined with online interventions. eHealth strengthens the possibilities for self-management and participation of patients. It increases range and impact of disease prevention,” he said.
“eHealth can be used in a big way to ensure safety and quality in healthcare. It can be a new form of health treatment. It has a number of potentials. Affordability, accessibility, efficacy, safety and quality, self management are some of the salient features of the system.”
However, he noted that there were a few barriers that were upsetting the use of eHealth widely. “Some of the eHealth barriers are poor standardisation, low awareness about the programme among the public and the professionals, lack of central direction as well as issues of reimbursement.”
Ossebaard pointed out that most of the patients would be able to self-manage eHealth. “It is an integrated and personal care system that needs more awareness. It is also a participative process and it is technology embedded in medical care. It is cost effective and is the practice of transferring value based healthcare accelerated by telemedicine,” he added.

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