Measuring the Effects of EHealth Applications on Efficiency: a Systematic Literature Review

Iiris Riippa* Karita Reijonsaari*
Iiris Riippa*, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
Patrick Francke, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
Johan Groop, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
Karita Reijonsaari*, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland

Track: Research
Presentation Topic: Business modelling in eHealth
Presentation Type: Oral presentation
Submission Type: Single Presentation

Building: LKSC Conference Center Stanford
Room: Lower Auditorium 130
Date: 2011-09-18 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Last modified: 2011-08-12

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Efficiency measures if current resources are used to their full potential; to maximize the value for money. eHealth applications have been claimed to improve efficiency in health care. Nevertheless, eHealth investments need to be justified through rigorous efficiency studies. The efficiency of eHealth applications has been measured using a wide array of approaches and parameters, such as the quality of care, patient satisfaction, clinician satisfaction, the number of outpatient visits, the longevity of care episodes, and the cost of care. The existing literature on the efficiency of eHealth applications appears to be rather fragmented. We believe that future research could benefit from a structured review of the current literature. The objective of this research is to analyze how the efficiency of eHealth applications has been measured in the existent literature. The scope of this inquiry is limited to web-based applications.
Nephrology On-Demand ( is a comprehensive educational website that provides information in many multimedia formats. We measured the usage and appeal of the blog format, known as Nephrology On-Demand Blogs ( Commentary was allowed through the "Comments" section in each blog for registered users. Eight blogs from national/international (6) and local (2) scientific meetings were published online, detailing the key learning points of selected seminars within a specific meeting. We used Google Analytics to measure usage data for each blog during the first 90 days after their publication. Access to any of blogs could be achieved by completing a short, Qualtrics-hosted survey.
A total of 746 visitors and 1248 pageviews were recorded. The average number of visitors & pageviews to blogs of local meetings were 16 and 27, respectively. These numbers increased to 112 and 181, respectively, for the national/international meeting blogs. International readers contributed between 30-45% of visits to the blogs of local meetings. Of the 165 surveys started, 96% were completed (Figure 2). Eight out of 10 non-first-time readers viewed the blogs as accurate (mean 1.54, SD 0.81), current (1.6, 0.86), objective (1.64, 0.88) and useful (1.6, 0.86). This finding was similarly observed at all training levels.
Our descriptive investigation has 3 key points. First, local meetings generally attract local healthcare providers, but blogs of such meetings can attract a global online audience. Albeit a small number of visits, blogs allow locally presented scientific meetings to showcase their material worldwide. To date there are no additional nephrology blogs that show such data. Second, requiring the completion of a survey prior to accessing the blogs resulted in a large proportion of users completing the survey. Although removal of the required survey would have likely resulted in greater blog access, satisfaction data would have been harder to collect. Third, knowledge that blogs are viewed in a positive manner may motivate medical professionals to continue their blogging efforts. Further data collection is underway to determine if increasing the number of local meeting blogs can improve number of visits and pageviews, on-par with national/international meeting blogs. Further data collection is underway to determine if increasing the number of local meeting blogs can improve number of visits and pageviews, on-par with national/international meeting blogs.

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