Around the world a number of countries have made a concerted effort to embed Information and Communications Technology (ICT) within their health systems. It is widely acknowledged that the successful application of ICT to health systems can bring about significant benefits. A number of areas commonly singled out for improvement include: coordination of care; improved medication management; and streamlining the transfer of a patient's care from one healthcare provider to another. There are also perceived cost-benefits including reduced duplication of services and improved service utilization. Countries across the world have chosen many and varied paths to automating their health systems. Health systems are intrinsically very complicated and changing rapidly. Because they represent a high proportion of government expenditure, it is important to understand what is being achieved by each of the broad approaches that are being taken.