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Exploring control in health information systems implementation

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Health information systems promise opportunities for improved healthcare. However, these opportunities may become challenges and obstacles to practice. This research reflects on the outcomes of implementing healthcare information systems in three English hospitals. In each case qualitative methods were used to observe and interview doctors, nurses and pharmacists as they carried out their daily healthcare routines. The changes that the implementation of health information systems brought for both the clinical encounter, as well as health care professionals' work flow, were explored. We argue that such technologies have become a central orchestrator of the clinical setting, to the extent that they often impose control on healthcare practices. Using a socio-technical approach we seek to understand how information systems technology and healthcare professionals can work together rather than apart, or around one another.

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