RESEARCH ARTICLE


Towards Open Information Management in Health Care



J Yli-Hietanen*, S Niiranen
Department of Signal Processing, Tampere University of Technology, Finland


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2008 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/), which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Signal Processing, Tampere University of Technology, Finland; E-mail: jari.yli-hietanen@tut.fi


Abstract

The utilization of information technology as tool in health care is increasing. The main benefits stem from the fact that information in electronic form can be transferred to different locations rapidly and from the possibility to automate certain information management tasks. The current technological approach for this automation relies on structured, formally coded representation of information. We discuss the limitations of the current technological approach and present a viewpoint, grounded on previous research and the authors’ own experiences, on how to progress. We present that a bottleneck in the automation of the management of constantly evolving clinical information is caused by the fact that the current technological approach requires the formal coding of information to be static in nature. This inherently hinders the expandability of the information case space to be managed. We present a new paradigm entitled open information management targeting unlimited case spaces. We also present a conceptual example from clinical medicine demonstrating open information management principles and mechanisms.