The health care sector is a large and dynamic industry in many Western countries and is changing in several ways triggered by rigorous new privacy standards, electronic medical records and emerging medical technologies. Widespread mergers and acquisitions have resulted in a ‘new health care economy’ and local, regional, and national health care networks in which care providers, hospitals, care institutions, and insurance companies cooperate to deliver improved medical services. Patients are becoming clients and consumers of health care, assuming more responsibility for selecting health care plans, shopping competitively for medical services, and proactively managing their wellness. New services include disease management programs, personal health management, telemedicine, web-based decision support for comparing and selecting health providers, and more. Hospitals and other care organizations are continuously developing these services, blending custom and standard care processes to deliver better care at a competitive price with technologies that promote a more flexible, service-oriented organization.
Research focuses on the business and technological implications of continuous development and improvement of these health services that require dynamic and adaptive business networks (service value networks), and innovative service oriented architectures that enable secure and flexible business process management, based on linkages between internal and external applications, infrastructures and data.
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