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Evaluating Health Informatics Essay

599 words - 3 pages

According to Sittig & Singh (2010), informaticist’s have been limited in their ability to evaluate health informatics (HI) infrastructure due to a lack of models that are designed for this purpose. They further contend that existing models do not take into account the relationship between people and hardware. Actually, these socio-technical relationships involve much more than people and technology but also include the following elements:
• Hardware such as personal computers, tablets, peripheral devices and networks that interconnect this hardware,
• Software
• Physical surrounding
• Individuals, groups of people (sales staff), roles (sale manager) and agencies (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
• Procedures both written and unwritten
• Laws and regulations (like procedures by are codified by society)
• Data & Data structures (what and how data is collected and stored)
(“Why a Socio-Technical,” n.d.)

Furthermore, the models that do exist for ...view middle of the document...

Sittig & Singh also stress the importance of differentiating between this type technological problem versus other types of problems such as those associated with work-flow disruptions due to a lack of end user training or poorly designed user interfaces. If this distinction is not made informaticist’s will identify any number of problems but they will not understand why these problems exists or lead them to solutions.

Additional problems arise because a large percentage information in the HI infrastructure is recorded on paper making it virtually impossible for the informaticist to analyze the knowledge that exists much less how this knowledge is being shared, the -value it contains or its quality. Payton, Paré, LeRouge, & Reddy (2011) discuss four of barriers associated with healthcare and by extension, HI infrastructure:
1. Currently, people, patents and process represent heterogeneous elements that need to be interconnected such that the bidirectional flow of information will be seamless.
2. When data is stored electronically, such as in electronic health records, they are used for internal purposes with similarly limited access by external entities.
3. Patients are concerned about the security of their data so they are hesitant to allow access to it.
4. Due to the traditional fee-for-service model that has permeated the industry, data collection has been focused on financial rather than clinical elements.

Payton, F., Paré, G., LeRouge, C., & Reddy, M. (2011). Health Care IT: Process, people, patients and interdisciplinary considerations. Journal of the Association for Information Systems: Special Issue on Health Care IT, 12(2), pp. 1-13 Retrieved from

Sittig, D. F. & Singh, H. (2010). A new sociotechnical model for studying health information technology in complex adaptive healthcare systems. Quality & safety in health care,19(Suppl 3), pp. i68 - i74, doi:10.1136/qshc.2010.042085

Why a Socio-Technical System? Retrieved from

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