Regional Health Economies and ICT Services
The PICNIC Experience
An important trend throughout Europe is a move towards more involvement of patients or citizens in informed decision making of any choice and responsibility for their own health. The vision behind this work is comprised of two components: new innovative services to the citizens and networking services and care across organisational boundaries. The needed integration and interoperability of systems will not be achieved, unless the healthcare domain invests into standardization. The way Information Society Technology (IST) is developing, however, means that there is no need for a fully harmonised European healthcare. A further dimension to this comes from the Open Source (OS) initiative. The success of Linux and the Open Source Web-servers and browsers is well known. This has revitalised OS activities also in the healthcare domain. This book has gathered significant experience in developing IT services for Regional Health Economies and builds on several years of worldwide experience. Its aim is to make the European market for telematic healthcare services more cohesive and less fragmented, by developing a model for the preparation of the regional healthcare providers to implement the next generation of secure, user-friendly healthcare networks. As such it paves the way towards the development of regional healthcare networks, assisted by interoperable IT services, in order to support effectively continuity of care across enterprises and establish a Professionals and Citizens Network for Integrated Care.