Simplifying Technology. Complex Work Practice
Information Technology (IT) has for several decades been seen to be a key enabler to achieve improved efficiency and quality in work processes, and so also within health care. Thus, even though many parts within the health care sector have high expectations, the desired benefits are not seen to large extent in practice, at least not until present. A lot of the work flows within health care are still paper based. Several authors claim that the mismatch between the goals and the real situations as today might be caused by the fact that social aspects are not included in design to large extent. Implementation processes has had a tendency to be far more technology oriented than social and communication oriented, thus indicating that technological processes rely on technological deterministic views. This thesis applies an implementation process of a new technology called Well Interactor, a system which is developed to let general practitioners choose laboratory services electronically and additionally enables interactive possibilities. The thesis is aimed to show to which extent existing work practices influence on the outcome of the technology. The findings documented are based upon an interpretive case study, including field observations and interviews. A study of 21 interviewed subjects has been carried out. The thesis concludes that existing work practices and existing infrastructures are quite complex. Such complexity makes it difficult to plan the outcome of the technology. It should therefore be seen implicit to map complex work practices before vision of drastic improvements caused by the use of Information Technology is created. The goals must be realistic based on the current situation. Then, both, social and technological aspects should play a role in how technology will and can be used.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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