The use of information and communication technology in health services ensures that doctors, nurses and other health practitioners get the most useful information to guide them in making appropriate decisions about a patient's illness and treatment. ICT provides tools that contribute to what is sometimes referred to as eHealth.
ICT tools and services, such as social media and collaboration technologies, offer innovative solutions that enhance service delivery. They provide more effective means of accessing, communicating and storing information. Databases and other applications can help improve health system efficiencies and avoid errors.
Unlike the physical files that may get lost or are difficult to locate, information stored on computers is secure and easy to retrieve. The use of the Internet helps doctors find useful information for successful diagnosis and treatment of some disease. Physicians can use electronic health record system to access a hospital’s prescription trends and make necessary adjustments. For instance, they can learn that other physicians have not been prescribing the latest and most effective drugs, such as post-surgical antibiotics, according to international guidelines. Doctors can also use emails to transmit CT scans and other medical images to their global networks, allowing them to get help in diagnosing and treating premature infants.
The use of eHealth technologies helps empower patients to be more responsible for their health and quality of life. Communication technologies such as instant messaging and teleconferencing are important in case of an emergency.