Evaluating Healthcare IT and Understanding the Work of Healthcare are Entangled Processes

Evaluating Healthcare IT and Understanding the Work of Healthcare are Entangled Processes

Joseph Schulman (New York Presbyterian Hospital, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-988-5.ch011
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Abstract

Parallel to the monumental problem of replacing paper- and pen-based patient information management systems with electronic ones is the problem of evaluating the extent to which the change represents an improvement. Meaningful and useful evaluation rests upon: a) explicitly conceptualizing the goals and tasks of the daily clinical work; b) thinking of electronic information management technology as a cognitive tool; c) explicitly representing in the tool the pertinent information elements; d) selecting among possibilities for representing a problem formulation so as to facilitate the solution; and e) appreciating the dynamic interaction between the work and the tool–that changing a tool necessarily changes the work. Anchored in the story of how one hospital committee learned to think about the purpose and impact of a patient information management system, this chapter gives practical insight to these evaluative considerations.

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