Study approach

The research process and workflow adopted for the EHR IMPACT study rely on three subsequent operational phases:

  • Preparation
  • Impact evaluation
  • Summary analysis and reporting.

The first, the preparation phase, involves a review of literature and other sources, to agree on key working definitions and the conceptual framework of the relevant domain. Then, ten case studies are selected. Phase one includes refining and validating the state-of-the-art evaluation methodology and the case study selection by an advisory board. The second phase, evaluation of socio-economic impact of interoperable EHR and ePrescribing systems, overlaps with the preparation work. Refining the methodology has to be based not only on the conceptual framework developed, but also on specific examples. Thus, evaluation of two case studies begins during the methodology refinement and adaptation phase. The bulk of the workload, both in the second study phase and the study as a whole, is then concentrated in the evaluation and analyses of ten proven case studies. The evidence-based outputs of the second phase are analysed, synthesised and aggregated in the third phase, summary analysis and reporting. The draft results will be put to an open discussion and validation by the steering committee and the advisory board, as well as a wider expert community. The preliminary findings will be presented and discussed at the validation and dissemination workshop foreseen. The final evaluation results and the outcomes of these events will then be integrated into a final report and the brief to EU and Member State policy makers that addresses the need to improve awareness of the benefits of interoperable electronic health record and ePrescribing systems.