eHealth Benchmarking study concluded

Bonn/Brussels. Quantitative monitoring and benchmarking of eHealth is rather widespread in the European Union. Benchmarking activities covering one or more groups of health actors and various eHealth-related issues can — to varying degrees — be found in nearly all EU Member States, as well as in Norway, Iceland, Canada and the United States of America. This is one main result of the eHealth Benchmarking study carried out by empirica on behalf of the European Commission. The study was concluded sucessfully this month and outcomes are now publicly available. This includes the final study report, an interactive online database of all data sources found, 12 good practice case studies and 31 country briefs. All results are available online on the European Commission i2010 website: ec.europa.eu and at www.ehealth-benchmarking.eu.

The eHealth Benchmarking Online Knowledge Base - also accessible through the above websites - provides access to all the sources identified as part of the study in a strcutcured and highly searchable fatabase format.

A search for eHealth monitoring and benchmarking sources of international and national scope conducted by the study found more than 90 sources and nearly 4,500 indicators. Beside the sheer quantity of sources and indicators, the research also found a wide variability in terms of geographic coverage, analytic depths, and eHealth concepts used. The large number of sources shows that already today a substantial amount of resources is being invested into eHealth monitoring and benchmarking. From a European point of view, the variability however also points to a lack of coherence when it comes to EU-wide benchmarking.

The eHealth Benchmarking study made an important step towards improving the present situation by developing an eHealth indicator framework for quantitaive measuring that covers key actor groups and eHealth-related activities. The framework comes with a set of recommendations on how it can be implemented on a European scale and beyond by means of quantitative surveys covering health actors such as hospital medical personnel (including nurses), specialist practices and care providers. The framework was well received at a workshop held in Prague in February 2009 and welcomed by many eHealth benchmarking stakeholders, including administration officials, IT-industry representatives, user representatives and supranational organisations such as the OECD.