Today, digitalization in health care is common good. Health data are measured, stored and exchanged in bits and bytes. Not only with complex ICT systems specifically designed for the exchange of health care data, but also with for instance WhatsApp. Digitalizing health data can bring benefits as well as challenges for patient safety. The survey on ICT in health care RIVM recently published (RIVM, 2016 (in Dutch) and the eHealth monitor published by Nictiz and NIVEL (2016) provide a good overview of the current status of the implementation of ICT, including digitalized health data, in the Netherlands.
This short review describes benefits of digitalizing health data for patient safety, as well as a number of challenges to actually achieve these benefits.