Health services research, outcomes, and perinatal information systems

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The progress in information and communication technology, together with the search for the most effective and efficient ways to use the limited resources for health care, are opening new areas for research and development in perinatal care. Information systems and practice oriented by evidence-based medicine are modifying the operation of health services, and the quality of their management is being monitored by the success of their outcomes. As a study case, a Perinatal Information System widely used in Latin America and the Caribbean is discussed in some detail. Future challenges in the compatibility of information systems and databanks, the need for longer follow-up periods and measurement of healthrelated quality of life as outcomes for perinatal care, and the strategies to integrate all these concepts for the improvement of daily practice are discussed.

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