I came across an interesting article by Lapointe and Rivard (2005) titled “Clinical Information Systems: Understanding and Preventing Their Premature Demise“. The article is an analysis of three case studies using interviews and identifying themes.
The authors identified a number of different factors, but ultimately focused on three:
- Understanding the organizational characteristics of hospitals;
- Understand the power distribution within the hospital; and,
- Focus on usefulness and ease of use.
What I found interesting was that the analysis identified ease of use as an important factor, but didn’t really discuss human factors/usability issues. My guess is that because the raw data are interviews, those interviewed may not know the technical terms like usability. I’m surprised that usability wasn’t a more significant factor.
Another interesting fact is that these three factors aren’t really new. If you take a look at information science text-books these are the first things they tell you about information systems (a good reference is by Laudon and Laudon – Management Information Systems). Why is it that health care seems so resistant to learn from other disciplines (well, maybe it’s not just health care)? In one sense, it’s good for would-be researchers like me, because it gives me something to study 🙂