An Application of the Socio-Technical Systems Approach to Implementation of Electronic Evidence into Practice: The Clinical Practice Model Framework

An Application of the Socio-Technical Systems Approach to Implementation of Electronic Evidence into Practice: The Clinical Practice Model Framework

Kathleen Abrahamson (Western Kentucky University, USA), Priscilla A. Arling (Butler University, USA), Bonnie Wesorick (CPM Resource Center/Elsevier, USA) and James G. Anderson (Purdue University, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/ijrqeh.2012010102
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Implementation of electronic evidence into the practice environments of clinical staff is an ongoing challenge in health care organizations. Despite localized efforts to integrate point-of-care technology with clinical practice, system-wide transformation across multiple clinical settings has not commonly occurred. This paper examines a framework designed to guide the implementation of evidence-based practice using technology in health care settings from the theoretical lens of the Socio-Technical Systems (STS) approach. The framework under study is called the CPM Framework™, developed by the Clinical Practice Model Resource Center (CPMRC). The CPMRC is a collaborative consortium of health care providers representing over 300 rural, community, and university settings. The CPMRC developed the Clinical Practice Model (CPM) Framework™ to guide the integration of evidence based CPG’s into the work worlds of clinicians. The authors propose that the CPM Framework is consistent with STS approach concepts, and can serve as an exemplar for other health care organizations seeking to implement technology in a manner that is consistent with established theoretical foundations.
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The Socio-Technical Systems Approach

The Socio-Technical Systems (STS) approach to organizational change arose in the 1950’s through Trist and Bamforth’s examination of work re-designs in the mining industry. STS proposes that successful re-organization of work relies on a reciprocal relationship between the social context and the technological innovation; neither must conform to the other, instead they mutually adapt to co-create an improved work environment (Katz & Kahn, 1978; Scott, 1992; Trist, 1981). The STS approach does not attribute successful implementation to either the individual characteristics of users or the quality of the technological tool (Dillion, 2000). Alternatively, outcomes are mutually dependent on the collective influence of individual users and technological tools; it is the integration of the social and technical systems that determines success (Petrakaki, Cornford, & Klecun, 2010).

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