About the ProeHealth study

eHealth solutions
eHealth is loosely defined as information and communications technology (ICT) based solutions applied in the health sector. These solutions have been envisaged as support for the provision of effective, efficient, good quality seamless healthcare. Yet, despite the increasing maturity and acknowledged benefits of eHealth solutions there has been a seeming resistance to uptake across Europe. One of the underlying causes of this is the complexity of eHealth procurement processes.

Realising the benefits of eHealth does not incur an automatic consequence of spending money on health ICT. Organisational changes and strategic decisions are imperative for success, which means that the whole investment cycle, from strategic planning, through the specifications, design, and procurement phase, to implementation, routine operation, and risk mitigation needs attention. Many eHealth investments focus on technology, and underestimate the importance of organisational change. Organisation is a critical consideration for good eHealth solution procurement as eHealth covers a huge range of interaction between providers, users and patients.

Aims of the project
In order to overcome the obstacles of overcomplicated and underutilised eHealth procurement a detailed analysis of good procurement procedures, existing procurement methods for eHealth solutions, as well as possible ways of improving the process of procurement is needed. After undertaking such analysis this project will provide guidelines to decision makers and procurers within public healthcare authorities and care delivery organisations. The guidelines will help them to conduct consistent and systematic planning processes when strategic considerations point to adopting eHealth solutions. The guidelines will also instruct them on how to transfer planning to the procurement specification and procurement process.

Study approach
The study involves three phases:

Phase 1 concerns the development of analysis tools and the identification of potential case study sites
Phase 2 is at the core of the study and consists of:Five case studies of regional EHR systems procurement initiatives
Five case studies of procurement initiatives for telemonitoring services
Phase 3 is devoted to aggregating the new insights intoA set of structured guidelines for decision makers and procurers on better planning and on how to transfer planning to successful procurement and system implementation
Policy recommendations to foster the diffusion of such eHealth applications.