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Redesigning Healthcare Systems to Provide Better and Faster Care at a Lower Cost

Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)


The use of information and communication technologies in the healthcare industry has been referred to as “telemedicine” or “e-health.” Our healthcare systems are facing big increases in demand due to growing elderly populations, rising chronic diseases, and the rapid development of new treatments; thus, the use of telemedicine is believed to be a part of the solution in restructuring and redesigning our healthcare systems. Despite often positive results, many telemedicine services remain stuck in a pilot or experimental phase and never make it to a larger implementation. The most important obstacle is the lack of structural financial reimbursement and available budget. In The Netherlands, we have developed and successfully applied our Health Management Practice (HMP) Model on a large number of telemedicine services using the “start small, think big” approach, leading to fully integrated telemedicine services. Results show a 70–96% reduction in hospital visits in dermatology and ophthalmology, which translates into an immediate cost reduction of 18%. Response times of 4–5 working hours and the learning effect have a high impact on the quality of care delivered. Telemonitoring programs in mental health have shown that involving the patient as an active actor can result in more motivation and ownership of their own health. Telemedicine also allows hospitals to remain focused on delivering high-quality specialized care. In many peripheral centers in residential areas, more routine care services will be delivered close to the patient by paramedics, caregivers, and patients themselves under the direction and supervision of a general practitioner and medical specialist at a distance.


  • Telemedicine
  • e-Health
  • Healthcare redesign
  • Telemonitoring
  • Teledermatology
  • Telecardiology
  • e-Mental health
  • Tele-ophthalmology
  • m-Health
  • Blended care
  • Digital health
  • Implementation

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Correspondence to J. P. van der Heijden Ph.D. .

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van der Heijden, J.P., Witkamp, L. (2018). Redesigning Healthcare Systems to Provide Better and Faster Care at a Lower Cost. In: Rivas, H., Wac, K. (eds) Digital Health. Health Informatics. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-61445-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-61446-5

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