Following a few basic rules can dramatically improve the chances of success of e-health projects, just don’t expect to see cash-releasing benefits. This was message given to industry experts gathered in Copenhagen last week for the joint EHTEL/EUROEC symposium by Dr. Karl Stroetmann, head of empirica a German technology research firm.
Looking at lessons learnt from projects, such as in Scotland and
Chicago, he said that the following factors are an essential part of
successful eHealth projects:
A vision, combined with a flexible and
pragmatic longer-term strategy and a willingness to learn from failure;
experience with ICT use, such as working with legacy systems;
iterative steps" towards implementation and routine operation rather
than "big bang approaches;
Securing clinicians’ buy-in" and
engagement from the outset.
Dr. Stroetmann argued that clinical leadership was vital to success. “If
you don’t have it, forget it, don’t even start.” He said that clinical
leadership, from clinicians with a strong interest in and commitment to
the use of ICT, was a hallmark of almost every successful e-health
project he’s encountered.
One powerful way to secure clinician buy-in was through research,
advised Dr Stroetmann. “Clinical research on benefits can be very useful
to convince clinicians and politicians.”