National monitoring and evaluation of eHealth: a scoping review

JAMIA Open. 2020 Mar 20;3(1):132-140. doi: 10.1093/jamiaopen/ooz071. eCollection 2020 Apr.


Objective: There has been substantial growth in eHealth over the past decade, driven by expectations of improved healthcare system performance. Despite substantial eHealth investment, little is known about the monitoring and evaluation strategies for gauging progress in eHealth availability and use. This scoping review aims to map the existing literature and depict the predominant approaches and methodological recommendations to national and regional monitoring and evaluation of eHealth availability and use, to advance national strategies for monitoring and evaluating eHealth.

Methods: Peer-reviewed and grey literature on monitoring and evaluation of eHealth availability and use published between January 1, 2009, and March 11, 2019, were eligible for inclusion. A total of 2354 publications were identified and 36 publications were included after full-text review. Data on publication type (eg, empirical research), country, level (national or regional), publication year, method (eg, survey), and domain (eg, provider-centric electronic record) were charted.

Results: The majority of publications monitored availability alone or applied a combination of availability and use measures. Surveys were the most common data collection method (used in 86% of the publications). Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), European Commission, Canada Health Infoway, and World Health Organization (WHO) have developed comprehensive eHealth monitoring and evaluation methodology recommendations.

Discussion: Establishing continuous national eHealth monitoring and evaluation, based on international approaches and recommendations, could improve the ability for cross-country benchmarking and learning. This scoping review provides an overview of the predominant approaches to and recommendations for national and regional monitoring and evaluation of eHealth. It thereby provides a starting point for developing national eHealth monitoring strategies.

Keywords: medical informatics; program evaluation; review.