BACKGROUND: There is currently a strong drive internationally towards creating digitally advanced healthcare systems through coordinated efforts at a national level. The English Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme is a large-scale national health information technology change programme aiming to promote digitally-enabled transformation in secondary healthcare provider organisations by supporting relatively digitally mature provider organisations to become international centres of excellence.
AIM: To qualitatively evaluate the impact of the GDE programme in promoting digital transformation in provider organisations that took part in the programme.
METHODS: We conducted a series of in-depth case studies in 12 purposively selected provider organisations and a further 24 wider case studies of the remaining organisations participating in the GDE programme. Data collected included 628 interviews, non-participant observations of 190 meetings and workshops and analysis of 9 documents. We used thematic analysis aided by NVivo software and drew on sociotechnical theory to analyse the data.
RESULTS: We found the GDE programme accelerated digital transformation within participating provider organisations. This acceleration was triggered by: (1) dedicated funding and the associated requirement for matched internal funding, which in turn helped to prioritise digital transformation locally; (2) governance requirements put in place by the programme that helped strengthen existing local governance and project management structures and supported the emergence of a cadre of clinical health informatics leaders locally; and (3) reputational benefits associated with being recognised as a centre of digital excellence, which facilitated organisational buy-in for digital transformation and increased negotiating power with vendors.
CONCLUSION: The GDE programme has been successful in accelerating digital transformation in participating provider organisations. Large-scale digital transformation programmes in healthcare can stimulate local progress through protected funding, putting in place governance structures and leveraging reputational benefits for participating provider organisations, around a coherent vision of transformation.
- Delivery of Health Care
- Health Facilities
- Health Personnel
- National Health Programs