Information technology, amongst many other features, encompasses increasingly novel frameworks and tools used as mechanisms to deliver healthcare services through various media including the Internet and other advanced networking technologies. As a result, communication between healthcare users (such as patients, people with disabilities and impairments, and older people) and providers (for example healthcare professionals, organizations and professional care providers) has changed drastically in recent years
Most countries with highly developed health systems are now investing heavily in new means of electronic communication especially between healthcare services users and providers because such sources of communication can potentially provide a wide range of benefits, particularly in the such areas as diagnostics, prescriptions and treatments, making and rescheduling appointments, communicating diagnostic test results, instructions regarding self-care and self-monitoring, remote monitoring and managing patients with chronic medical conditions, as well as accessing personal health records. There are however still barriers to the wider acceptance and use of such electronic communications between patients, healthcare professionals, pharmacists and insurance providers.
Communication between healthcare users and providers has to be timely, efficient, and direct and at the appropriate level to achieve desired outcomes timely, effectively and in a systematic manner. These outcomes must meet the requirements of not only services users but also the needs of other stakeholders such as healthcare providers, payers and regulators.
The purpose of this special issue is to provide an advance in understanding of recent developments and the associated difficulties of communication between healthcare services users and providers using electronic sources at all levels, local, national, regional and global.
The issue will expand knowledge of these themes and will focus on understanding the most effective usage of electronic resources in relation to healthcare delivery for all stakeholders. This will help in gaining a better understanding of factors such as the costs, benefits and barriers associated with the usage of electronic communication in healthcare delivery. Therefore, this special issue will assist healthcare organisations, healthcare services users and providers, and policy makers in understanding the impact and future requirements of electronic communication between healthcare services users and providers on healthcare services delivery and acceptance.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to:
- An overview of communication patterns between healthcare services users and providers using electronic sources
- Tools and technologies for communication between healthcare services users and providers using electronic sources
- The role and acceptance of social media and Web 2.0 in communication between healthcare users and providers
- Adoption and usage models for communication between healthcare services users and providers using electronic sources
- Benefits and barriers to communication between healthcare services users and providers using electronic sources
- Privacy, security and other ethical issues involved in electronic communication between healthcare services users and providers
- Acceptance of e-prescription by providers, dispensers, users and payers
- Impacts of electronic communication on efficiencies, effectiveness, and the transparency and quality of healthcare
- Management and investment issues in relation to electronic communication between healthcare services users and providers
- Healthcare providers' strategies regarding future needs for electronic communication direct between services users and providers
Deadline for receiving full manuscripts: 31 January 2011
Notification of reviews to authors: 15 June 2011
Deadline for revised Submission: 15 July 2011
Final decision on manuscripts: 15 August 2011