Organizational issues in the implementation and adoption of health information technology innovations: An interpretative review

Kathrin Cresswell*, Aziz Sheikh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
Implementations of health information technologies are notoriously difficult, which is due to a range of inter-related technical, social and organizational factors that need to be considered. In the light of an apparent lack of empirically based integrated accounts surrounding these issues, this interpretative review aims to provide an overview and extract potentially generalizable findings across settings.

Methods
We conducted a systematic search and critique of the empirical literature published between 1997 and 2010. In doing so, we searched a range of medical databases to identify review papers that related to the implementation and adoption of eHealth applications in organizational settings. We qualitatively synthesized this literature extracting data relating to technologies, contexts, stakeholders, and their inter-relationships.

Results
From a total body of 121 systematic reviews, we identified 13 systematic reviews encompassing organizational issues surrounding health information technology implementations. By and large, the evidence indicates that there are a range of technical, social and organizational considerations that need to be deliberated when attempting to ensure that technological innovations are useful for both individuals and organizational processes. However, these dimensions are inter-related, requiring a careful balancing act of strategic implementation decisions in order to ensure that unintended consequences resulting from technology introduction do not pose a threat to patients.

Conclusions
Organizational issues surrounding technology implementations in healthcare settings are crucially important, but have as yet not received adequate research attention. This may in part be due to the subjective nature of factors, but also due to a lack of coordinated efforts toward more theoretically-informed work. Our findings may be used as the basis for the development of best practice guidelines in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e73–e86
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of medical informatics
Volume82
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Keywords

  • Health information technology
  • Implementation
  • Organizational

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