Digitalisation of Healthcare and the Problem of Digital Exclusion Cover Image

Digitalisation of Healthcare and the Problem of Digital Exclusion
Digitalisation of Healthcare and the Problem of Digital Exclusion

Author(s): Ewa M. Kwiatkowska, Małgorzata Skórzewska-Amberg
Subject(s): Business Economy / Management, ICT Information and Communications Technologies, Socio-Economic Research
Published by: Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
Keywords: healthcare; Internet; patient; digital exclusion; e-prescriptions

Summary/Abstract: Purpose: Digitalisation of healthcare in Poland which covers e-prescriptions, e-referrals, and sharing electronic medical records (EMR) on the P1 platform3 is supposed to be fully completed andimplemented from 1 January 2021. The success of that implementation is strictly connected to thelevel of digital skills of both healthcare providers and healthcare service users. The purpose of thepresent paper is to indicate potential problems which may arise from the digitalisation of healthcarein social groups which are not adapted to using information and communication technologies (ICT)in their day-to-day lives, especially in case of the elderly.Methodology: In order to indicate a potentially high level of digital exclusion in society, secondarydata collected by Eurostat, Statistics Poland and CBOS4 were used. Problems in the healthcaresector, including those resulting from the digitalisation implemented in Poland, were presentedagainst the backdrop of the changing law which applies here.Findings: The introduction of digital solutions in the healthcare sector in Poland, including EMR,e-referrals, and e-prescriptions, was postponed numerous times, which can indicate the lack of theproper preparation of providers for a digital revolution. However, a potentially greater problem maylie with healthcare service users, especially considering the fact that such services are used mostlyby the elderly. The phenomenon of digital exclusion, generally associated with the lack of skills necessary for using ICT, is frequently observed particularly among senior citizens. It can lead to socialisolation which is a risk factor that influences the health of senior citizens and the quality of theirlives.Originality/value: Some of the issues resulting from the adopted solutions and the legislation governing healthcare in Poland, including the digitalisation of said healthcare, and proposals for amendments in this regard were provided in this interdisciplinary paper. It seems that those solutionscould be used to reduce the threats of the digital exclusion of a significant part of Polish society,particularly in the group of seniors.

  • Issue Year: 27/2019
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 48-63
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English