Governance Structures for IT in the Health Care Industry

Governance Structures for IT in the Health Care Industry

Reima Suomi (Turku School of Economics and Business Administration, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-050-9.ch129
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The pressures for the health care industry are well known and very similar in all developed countries (i.e., altering population, shortage of resources for staff and from taxpayers, higher sensitivity of the population for health issues, new and emerging diseases, etc.). Underdeveloped countries experience different problems, but they have the advantage of learning from the lessons and actions that developed countries underwent perhaps decades ago. On the other hand, many solutions also exist, but they all make the environment even more difficult to manage (i.e., possibilities of networking, booming medical and health-related research and knowledge produced by it, alternative caretaking solutions, new and expensive treatments and medicines, promises of biotechnology, etc.). From the public authorities’ points of view, the solution might be easy—outsource as much as you can out of this mess. Usually, the first services to go are marginal operational activities, such as laundry, cleaning, and catering services. It is easy to add information systems to this list, but we believe this is often done without a careful enough consideration. Outsourcing is often seen as a trendy, obvious, and easy solution, which has been supported by financial facts on the short run. Many examples show that even in the case of operational information systems, outsourcing can become a costly option, not to mention lost possibilities for organizational learning and competitive positioning through mastering of information technology.

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