Student portrait: Elena Eftimovska
Master's programme: Health Informatics
Country of residence: Macedonia
Year of birth: 1981
Year of graduation: 2012
Currently doing a PhD at Karolinska Institutet
In her work as a medical doctor in Skopje, Elena Eftimovska has often felt the need for good health informatics tools to improve health care.
'For an individual doctor the continuous flow of new medical research, new knowledge, evidence best practices and procedures is getting really difficult to keep up with. Medicine progresses rapidly and patients and doctors need support in extracting relevant information and making decisions. Its not enough to just have the "right feeling" about things. We have to make sure the health care that we provide is evidence based. The application of health information technology such as electronic health records, decision support systems, telemedicine, and so on, has no limitations as long as it contributes to a better quality of healthcare and patient outcomes.'
In the future, Elena Eftimovska wants to contribute to the development of health informatics-enhanced healthcare in Macedonia. Choosing Sweden and Karolinska Institutet (KI) as the place to take her master's degree was easy and appropriate to acquire the knowledge needed.
'Here in Sweden you have been implementing health information technology for more than twenty years. Additionally you have a tremendous drive for patient-centered healthcare which is another of my field of interests. And KI has a lot of knowledge and experience to offer for the perceptive student. Trying to create healthcare systems which will offer safer, more efficient, effective and patient oriented care is something the whole world is trying to develop. So, by studying here I can learn directly from both the successes and failures that Sweden has endeavored over the years.'
But health information technology alone is not the magical bullet for problems in healthcare according to Elena Eftimovska. Healthcare improvement is fostered by good leadership, management and decision making. In her future job she would like to be the link between medicine/health care and health information technology:
I can understand and speak both "languages" - medicine and IT - and that gives me special insight that I can use in the workplace. It enables me to recognise and respond to the real health care needs and initiate and facilitate development of health information systems that will address that problem in a most appropriate way.