Service alignment between health service provider and patient is changing. Instead of placing responsibilities into the hands of a provider, new forms of co-operation are emerging in which patients are regarded as a resource and a partner. In order to see this vision come to life, mechanisms that: first, support patient’s health decision making; and second, integrate matters of health into a wider ensemble that is health space; the overarching state of health-related affairs, are needed. In the following, these kinds of mechanisms are investigated and their applicability is discussed in relation to a national project. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
The work is exploratory and conceptual, focussing more on people than on technology. In the work, findings related to a concept of a health navigator; an artefact of personal health decision support, are assembled into a framework that bases on key sociological theories. The empirical elements focus on observations made on applicability of the concept, and the underlying framework of citizen-centric electronic health services.
The authors argue that the discussed concept, when applied to personal health decision making according to the underlying framework, has a potential to change health service provisioning. In addition to stimulating new kind of co-operation between the health service provider and the citizen, the concept gives form to, somewhat idealized, notions of patient choice and empowerment.
The work described here is exploratory and forward-looking. Even though the concept and the framework are tested to a degree in a national project, more practice-oriented work is needed in terms of real-world applicability. It follows from this that the work is a conceptual elaboration on the future of personal health decision making.
The findings, including the discussed challenges and needs, stem from real-world observations; from the needs of citizens. As such, they indicate a direction into which the development of personal health records and health decision support aids should go.
Lahtiranta, J., Koskinen, J., Knaapi-Junnila, S. and Nurminen, M. (2015), "Sensemaking in the personal health space", Information Technology & People, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 790-805. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-09-2014-0214Download as .RIS
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