This chapter gives an overview of a nation's healthcare system, particularly for those who are familiar with IT but not healthcare or for those working in one area of healthcare who may not be familiar with the system and data requirements across the care continuum. The structure of this chapter uses the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Health systems framework with a focus on the need for data and information governance to achieve a sustainable health system delivering improved health for all, responsively and equitably meeting genuine demands for health services, with social and financial risk protection and overall improved efficiency. It is argued that there is a need to gather the right data and to process these data in a manner that provides good information in order to more fully understand how the health system is working and where and when it isn't working well. This needs to be achieved in the most cost effective manner that doesn't detract from the allocation of resources to healthcare or the clinical workflow required to achieve quality healthcare.
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