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Implementing and adopting electronic health record systems: How actor‐network theory can support evaluation

Kathrin Cresswell (Centre for Population Health Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)
Allison Worth (Centre for Population Health Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)
Aziz Sheikh (Centre for Population Health Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)

Clinical Governance: An International Journal

ISSN: 1477-7274

Publication date: 18 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to outline an approach to study the implementation and adoption of information technology systems in healthcare.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use the introduction of electronic health records, part of the English National Programme of Information Technology, as an example to illustrate how theoretical lenses need to be effectively integrated with practical considerations in order to help researchers to overcome the theory‐practice gap in relation to research in this area.

Findings

Integrating actor‐network theory (ANT) with other theoretical lenses can usefully inform the design of evaluation of the implementation of electronic health record systems into healthcare settings, but it is necessary that such deliberations are informed by guidance on how to use conceptual considerations in practice.

Originality/value

The paper outlines how combining a case study‐based approach informed by multi‐sited ethnography and drawing on ANT offers a method for a theoretically‐based approach to such evaluations.

Keywords

Citation

Cresswell, K., Worth, A. and Sheikh, A. (2011), "Implementing and adopting electronic health record systems: How actor‐network theory can support evaluation", Clinical Governance: An International Journal, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 320-336. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777271111175369

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited