On quality and communication: The relevance of critical theory to health informatics.

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dc.contributor.author Shaw, Mark Christopher
dc.contributor.author Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968-
dc.date.accessioned 2011-04-08T10:07:09Z
dc.date.available 2011-04-08T10:07:09Z
dc.date.issued 2011-03
dc.identifier.citation Shaw, M. C. and Stahl, B. C. (2011). On Quality and Communication: The Relevance of Critical Theory to Health Informatics. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 12 (3), pp. 255-273. en
dc.identifier.issn 1536-9323
dc.identifier.uri http://aisel.aisnet.org/jais/vol12/iss3/2
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2086/4840
dc.description.abstract Health information systems require long-term investment before they provide a socio-economic return, yet their implementation remains problematic, possibly because the claims made about them appear not to sit well with healthcare professionals’ practice. Health informatics should address these issues from a sound conceptual base, such as might be provided by critical theory, which seeks to identify hidden assumptions and ideologies. This discipline can provide a better understanding of the inner workings of socio-technical systems, with a view to improving them through the promotion of emancipation (allowing people to fulfill their potential). Critical theory can also shed light on the problems with health information systems and offer insight into remedies, for example, by relating Habermas’ theories about communication to feedback, a concept central to quality assurance (QA). Such analysis finds that QA’s principal practices can be interpreted as emancipatory but requires organizations to substantially change their behavior. An alternate approach is to install health information systems designed to support QA. Applying critical theory to these systems shows that they could become an active part of service delivery rather than static repositories of data, because they may encourage standardized conversations between all stakeholders about the important features of health care. Success will depend on access for all participants to data entry and analysis tools, integration with work practice, and use by staff and management in QA. These ideas offer new directions for research into and the development of health information systems. The next step will be to implement them and observe their technical and emancipatory properties. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Association for Information Systems en
dc.subject health informatics en
dc.subject critical research en
dc.title On quality and communication: The relevance of critical theory to health informatics. en
dc.type Article en
dc.researchgroup Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility en
dc.peerreviewed Yes en
dc.ref2014.selected 1367395509_0910680227083_11_1

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