Software Evaluation From the Perspective of Patients and Healthcare Professionals

Software Evaluation From the Perspective of Patients and Healthcare Professionals

Rui Pedro Charters Lopes Rijo (Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal) and Domingos Alves (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7489-7.ch019

Abstract

Healthcare software evaluation is a complex process. Specifically, in the health information systems, focusing on the patients' health and on the healthcare professionals' motivation is particularly important. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals use software that indirectly affects the patients. Does software improve the patients' health, their satisfaction, or the healthcare professionals' commitment/job satisfaction? How can the impact of an information system be measured from the perspective of the patients, the doctors, the nurses, or the supporting staff? Some relevant efforts have been made in the last years to measure healthcare software impact. Nevertheless, the decision to extend a study to different fields may lead to many difficulties as far as its conclusions are concerned. By identifying the research questions and the most relevant works, as well as indicating the open research issue, this chapter is a revision of the literature on the subject. This work may be expected to be useful to all those wishing to contribute by their research in this field.
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Background

According to the World Health Organization (World Health Organization, n.d.), e-health can be defined as the providing of services and resources per electronic means either for health professionals, health consumers or for health systems management. Software plays in this way a central role in the healthcare systems because it can interact with the patients or doctors, or being embedded software in medical instrumentation, and other healthcare-oriented life-critical systems. Software is becoming more pervasive in all facets of medical device design and development. As transitions from hardware to software controls occur, there is a growing need for formalized software assurance processes (Cooper & Pauley, 2006).

The use of the modern information technology in health offers tremendous opportunities: 1) to reduce clinical errors, e.g., medication errors, diagnostic errors; 2) to support health care professionals, e.g., availability of timely, up-to-date patient information; 3) to increase the efficiency of care, e.g., less waiting times for patients; 4) or even to improve the quality of patient care (Elske Ammenwerth, Gräber, Herrmann, Bürkle, & König, 2003)(Walker et al., 2005). According to Alalwany (2010), e-health supports disease allows people to better manage their own health and provides more accessible and consistent healthcare services, besides improving the efficiency of healthcare systems. Despite the opportunities, e-health presents some challenges namely considering that modern information technology systems are costly (Drouin, Hediger, & Henke, 2008)(Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, 2015) and that their failures may cause negative effects on both patients and staff. Adopting e-health applications is also highly complex. Finally, the privacy and security concerns in e-health applications are other key challenges. Therefore, a rigorous evaluation of IT in health care is recommended (Brender et al., 2013) and of great importance for decision makers and users (Kaplan & Shaw, 2004). Evaluation is likewise of some importance considering the high rate of failed IT projects in public sector where 35 percent of IT government projects have been classified as total failures, and 50 percent as partial failures (Heeks, 2006).

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