Abstract / Description of output

Evaluating healthcare digitalisation, where technology implementation and adoption transforms existing socio-organisational processes, presents various challenges for outcome assessments. Populations are diverse, interventions are complex and evolving over time, meaningful comparisons are difficult as outcomes vary between settings, and outcomes take a long time to materialise and stabilise. Digitalisation may also have unanticipated impacts.

We here discuss the limitations of evaluating the digitalisation of healthcare, and describe how qualitative and quantitative approaches can complement each other to facilitate investment and implementation decisions. In doing so, we argue how existing approaches have focused on measuring what is easily measurable and elevating poorly chosen values to inform investment decisions. Limited attention has been paid to understanding processes that are not easily measured even though these can have significant implications for contextual transferability, sustainability and scale-up of interventions. We use what is commonly known as the McNamara Fallacy to structure our discussions.

We conclude with recommendations on how we envisage the development of mixed methods approaches going forward in order to address these shortcomings.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Early online date15 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sept 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of digitalisation in healthcare and the quantification of the “unmeasurable”'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this