Implementation and Integration of Regional Health Care Data Networks in the Hellenic National Health Service
Background: Modern health care is provided with close cooperation among many different institutions and professionals, using their specialized expertise in a common effort to deliver best-quality and, at the same time, cost-effective services. Within this context of the growing need for information exchange, the demand for realization of data networks interconnecting various health care institutions at a regional level, as well as a national level, has become a practical necessity. Objectives: To present the technical solution that is under consideration for implementing and interconnecting regional health care data networks in the Hellenic National Health System. Methods: The most critical requirements for deploying such a regional health care data network were identified as: fast implementation, security, quality of service, availability, performance, and technical support. Results: The solution proposed is the use of proper virtual private network technologies for implementing functionally-interconnected regional health care data networks. Conclusions: The regional health care data network is considered to be a critical infrastructure for further development and penetration of information and communication technologies in the Hellenic National Health System. Therefore, a technical approach was planned, in order to have a fast cost-effective implementation, conforming to certain specifications.