Electronic health records promise to modernize and improve healthcare worldwide. A number of countries have now initiated large-scale national projects to facilitate the deployment and interconnection of this technology across hospitals, health regions and entire countries. This has proven to be a difficult objective for many governments to achieve. Internationally, many governments have encountered problems, despite large financial and human resource investments. However, there has been major progress in a few countries; most notably the country of Denmark. Denmark has achieved its objective: a high adoption rate by physicians of electronic health records. This has involved the development of interlinked health information systems and sharable patient data across the country’s regions and nationally. For example, Denmark’s national strategic plan has lead to the ability of physicians to obtain patient summaries throughout the country using a national Internet-based portal. This article describes both the technical achievements and the organizational considerations that have lead to a leadingedge national program for electronic health records. Advances in Denmark are discussed in the context of developments in national e-health strategies in other countries, most notably Taiwan.
Electronic health records, national strategies, system adoption, Denmark, e-health, mega projects