Electronic Collaboration Toward Social Health Outcomes

Electronic Collaboration Toward Social Health Outcomes

Rakesh Biswas (Manipal University, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Malaysia), Jayanthy Maniam (Sunway College, Malaysia), Edwin Wen Huo Lee (Intel Malaysia Innovation Center, Malaysia), Shashikiran Umakanth (Manipal University, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Malaysia) and Premalatha Gopal Das (Manipal University, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-106-3.ch047
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This is an illustrative process description of a collaborative project utilizing a multidisciplinary approach. The requirement for collaboration originated in an attempt to optimally answer the needs of individual patients and health professionals for information to allow them to achieve better health outcomes. This chapter introduces the problem statement through the auto-ethnographic reflections of three project developers. These reflections illustrate individual experiential agendas that initiated electronic collaboration among diverse stakeholders in the health care network. Each reflection also illustrates the sequence of events in a collaborative process beginning at the individual level and growing through the interaction of multiple individuals including patients, their relatives, health professionals, and other actors in the care giving network. This chapter describes how collaboration was sustained and further developed into an operational model.
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Problem Statement

Average patient data, which drives most of our present day (knowledge and evidence) information bases, is often unable to satisfy individual patient and health professional needs. In spite of an unprecedented expansion of medical information, at present we still do not have the quality of information to satisfy a given individual patient to an optimal extent (Biswas, 2008a).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Qualitative Research: One of the two major approaches to research methodology in social sciences. Qualitative research involves an in depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern human behavior. Unlike quantitative research, qualitative research relies on reasons behind various aspects of behavior. Simply put, it investigates the why and how of decision- making, as compared to what, where, and when of quantitative research. Hence, the need is for smaller but focused samples rather than large random samples, which qualitative research categorizes data into patterns as the primary basis for organizing and reporting results. Quantitative Research: The systematic scientific investigation of quantitative properties and phenomena and their relationships. The objective of quantitative research is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories and hypotheses pertaining to natural phenomena. The process of measurement is central to quantitative research because it provides the fundamental connection between empirical observation and mathematical expression of quantitative relationships.

Evidence-Based Medicine: Evidence-based medicine is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence-based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.

Experiential Learning Theory (ELT): Provides a holistic model of the learning process and a multi linear model of adult development, both of which are consistent with what we know about how people learn, grow, and develop. The theory is called “Experiential Learning” to emphasize the central role that experience plays in the learning process, an emphasis that distinguishes ELT from other learning theories. The term “experiential” is used therefore to differentiate ELT both from cognitive learning theories, which tend to emphasize cognition over affect, and behavioral learning theories that deny any role for subjective experience in the learning process.

User Driven Health Care: Improved health care achieved with concerted collaborative learning between multiple users and stakeholders, primarily patients, health professionals and other actors in the care giving collaborative network across a Web interface.

Auto Ethnography: Auto ethnography is a recognized qualitative social research method through which the researcher documents a group by recording his or her own individual experience as it relates to social history. Often, but not always, the researcher is a member of the group in question rather than the traditional outsider ethnographer.

Consumer Driven Health Care: A strategy for users/consumers to decide how they may pay for their own health care through multiple stakeholders like employers who provide the money and insurance companies who receive the premiums.

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