Issues in developing e-health systems: an Australian case study
Swatman, Paul, Castleman, Tanya and Fowler, Danielle 2003, Issues in developing e-health systems: an Australian case study, in Proceedings for CollECTeR (Europe) 2003, [Collaborative Electronic Commerce Technology and Research], [Galway, Ireland], pp. 221-235.
Collaborative Electronic Commerce Technology and Research Conference
[Collaborative Electronic Commerce Technology and Research]
Place of publication
Over the last few years, perceptions of the importance of eHealth have increased rapidly, together with the use of IS&T in the delivery of health and social services. Although “e” approaches to health and social services have much potential, they are not panaceas, and the use of new technologies in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of such systems cannot be considered in isolation from their wider context. eHealth systems remain complex socio-organisational systems and, as we will argue and illustrate through this case study, require that a balanced approach to feasibility and desirability analysis be taken.
The case study in this paper describes a feasibility study into the potential effectiveness of a smartdevice-based electronic data collection and payment system which was proposed for the provision of disability services. A key finding of the study was that the most significant impediment to such a system was the highly diffused, fragmented, interlocking organisational structure of the social service administration itself. Rather than raise issues specific to the implementation or diffusion of new technologies in designing e-health services, it raised issues associated with decision making and control in such an environment, and with the design of the underlying organisational system: for service provision, the level of detail required in the service data, and the locus of decision-making power among the stakeholders.
In our account we illustrate the existence of multiple, incommensurate but valid perceptions of the human service provision problem, and discuss the implications for developers or managers of information systems in the arena of e-health or governance. We examine this environment from sociological and information systems perspectives, and confirm the usefulness of socio-organisational approaches in understanding such contexts.
Field of Research
150399 Business and Management not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
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