Promoting Success in the Introduction of Health Information Systems

Promoting Success in the Introduction of Health Information Systems

Paulo Teixeira (Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e do Ave, Portugal), Patrícia Leite Brandão (Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e do Ave, Portugal) and Álvaro Rocha (Universidade Fernando Pessoa, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/jeis.2012010102
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The significant number of publications describing unsuccessful cases in the introduction of health information systems makes it advisable to analyze the factors that may be contributing to such failures. However, the very notion of success is not equally assumed in all publications. Based in a literature review, the authors argue that the introduction of systems must be based in an eclectic combination of knowledge fields, adopting methodologies that strengthen the role of organizational culture and human resources in this project, as a whole. On the other hand, the authors argue that the introduction of systems should be oriented by a previously defined matrix of factors, against which the success can be measured.
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2. The Nature Of Systems Development

The available literature reports several unsuccessful cases in the introduction of health information systems (Avison & Young, 2007; Day, 2007; Heeks, 2006). This lack of success is mainly explained by a development process lag between the final organization and the organization for which the system was developed. This lag stems primarily from social and human questions that do not receive the appropriate consideration (Brooke & Maguire, 1998).

The development of systems is generally approached as a technological question. However, the body of literature reveals another perspective, according to which information systems should be primarily regarded as social systems (Kukafka, 2003; Ryan, 2010). The influence of this interpretative perspective in practice has been growing. This work intends to follow and deepen this perspective. If information systems are more than a decision-making support tool and if the projects go beyond the applications of the system development cycle described in manuals, then technicians need to understand a whole new set of questions, mainly social and organizational questions.

Figure 1 depicts a set of fields, without assuming an exhaustive character, and reveals that the development of systems, even in a relatively static situation, is a complex area. But considering that most organizations work in dynamic environments, the degree of complexity is significantly higher.

Figure 1.

Areas that influence system development


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