Toy or Useful Technology?: The Challenge of Diffusing Telemedicine in Three Boston Hospitals

Toy or Useful Technology?: The Challenge of Diffusing Telemedicine in Three Boston Hospitals

Hüseyin Tanriverdi (Boston University, USA) and C. Suzanne Iacono (National Science Foundation, USA)
Copyright: © 1999 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-56-8.ch001
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In response to increasing competition and cost pressures from managed-care practices, healthcare organizations are turning to information technology (IT) to increase efficiency of their operations and reach out to new patient markets. One promising IT application, telemedicine, enables remote delivery of medical services. Potentially, telemedicine could reduce costs and increase the quality and accessibility of medical services. However, the diffusion of telemedicine has remained low. We present case studies of telemedicine programs at three healthcare institutions in Boston, Massachusetts to better understand why telemedicine has not spread as quickly or as far as one would expect, given its promise. These case studies describe the environmental and organizational context of telemedicine applications, their champions, strategies and learning activities. Since the three cases represent varying levels of diffusion of telemedicine, they enable the reader to understand how and why some institutions, champions and approaches are more successful than others in diffusing a new technology like telemedicine.

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