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The purpose of VATAM is to take stock of EU research project validation of health care telematics applications, with a view to enhancing them. Eight projects piloting VATAM may apply its methodologies voluntarily. The initiative will make recommendations to improve validation and provide guidelines for tackling it on a consensus basis. General health telematics guidelines will also be tested, validated and publicly discussed from the angle of quality assurance and technology assessment. In addition, VATAM will spread the use of validation methods and tools and investigate the potential for marketing them.

The overall goal of VATAM is to consolidate the results of validation in projects in the health telematics area. VATAM provides methodologies, supports validation in health telematics projects and enhances dissemination of validation results. Eight health telematics projects (COCO, DIABCARD, HANSA, HORIZON, ISAR-T, PRESTIGE, SAMMIE-IL, SYNAPSES) directly take part in VATAM. Each health telematics project can apply VATAM methodologies on a voluntary basis. VATAM includes:

evaluation of the validations providing recommendations for improvement of validation procedures;

development of general guidelines for validation approach by consensus development, together with validators of the eight projects and external experts; A first draft form of these guidelines will be available and disseminated in a diffusion workshop in 1996;

test and validation of general guidelines in health telematics and by presenting the guidelines for discussion at the working conference of WG 15 of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) in 1997. this WG 15 deals with quality assurance and technology assessment. Guidelines will be updated subsequently, disseminated, and will be finalised by the end of 1998. They will be presented at the Health Telematics Final Conference;

providing a platform for dissemination of validation methods, tools and results through (amongst others) internet, WWW, presentations at conferences, tutorials and courses and visibility at concertation meetings. VATAM includes a study of the market for assessment methods and tools;

Base on a European-wide consensus and offering methods, tools, expertise, literature databases and education segments, the validation framework will open the market for Technology assessment as a rational means to validate Health Telematics applications. Effects of applications; whether cost savings, productivity gains, improved quality of care of Health Telematics applications. Effects of applications; whether cost savings, productivity gains, improved quality of care of Health process redesign can be proved to exist, instead of just indicated on a small scale in the past. This will provide an excellent opportunity for assessors in Europe in general and the consortium members in particular to open the market for their constancy activities and tools. In the long term, adequate validation will open the market of telematics and products and services in health care and will help decrease costs and improve quality.

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Bazis Central Development and Support Group Hospital Information System
Schipholweg 97
2316 XA Leiden

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