The internet is transforming the way in which most businesses operate. Healthcare is also a business, a life and death business. It is inevitable that sooner rather than later the Irish healthcare sector will be forced to embrace the internet. This is the long term vision of VHI's internet strategy. However, are the key players within healthcare ready for the internet. This
document should help reveal the situation. The aim of this document is to provide an analysis of VHI's E-Business Strategy within the context of the wider healthcare sector and its many players. Underlying this evaluation was a thorough examination of the environmental forces which are acting on the wider healthcare sector. Following on from this I identified five e-opportunities which represent strands of espace which are open to be exploited.
Primary research findings indicated that while most GP's were computerised, few were thinking of developing the internet. Hospitals on the other hand were planning ahead, but caution about security breaches was holding many back. The overall objective of VHI's E-Business strategy is to unite all the participants in healthcare, thereby streamlining processes which impact on the patient. I have developed the concept of the 'Patient Care Life Cycle', as a model which decomposes the patient care process into six distinct steps. This framework is used to identify the points in the cycle where information is exchanged, as these are the linkages which will benefit most from internet connectivity. The value proposition of the internet enabled model is then examined from a stakeholder perspective. Finally, having examined the broader context I have identified a number of parameters on which progress is a prerequisite for internet enabled healthcare to be developed namely: legislative infrastructure, IT infrastructure, risk management and change management. Key conclusions to be taken from the study are then highlighted.