The Impact of Informatics on the Sociocultural Environment of Health Care


This review pertains to Dr. Johnson’s Healthcare Informatics Program, Module Three, Unit One.

Organization theory and organizational behavior need to be incorporated concurrently when designing and implementing information systems. Organization theory has its focus on an entire ministry whereas organizational behavior focuses on end users. Interestingly enough, sometimes the ongoing improvements, updates, and implementations are more focused on the end goal and do not take into account the impact on the end user. This behavior is demonstrated in the timing of downtimes, the lack of ongoing education, and the lack of involvement of end users into the choice of the tools they will be expected to use.

Without the input of the end users, their can be conflict related to human factors, which is the relationship between humans, technology, and their environment. End user workflow needs to be studied, ergonomics addressed in relationship to the defined work flow and the technology used, and usability of the information systems and its related applications.

The axioms of usability have “stood the test of time”. It is a shame that these axioms are not always used. How do you understand the end users in depth if you do not speak with them, listen to their concerns, watch them in practice, or involve them in the choices and development of the end product? It is interesting to speak with non-clinical IS staff at my workplace. I have identified a lack of understanding of the impact the technology has on the clinical staff.

The concept of computer-supported cooperative work shifts the focus from an individual user to groups. This is important in the healthcare setting since work is done by teams of people, not just an individual.

This week was the first meeting of our Nursing Research Council. This is very exciting for the nursing staff and for increasing the nurses’ time and use of the PCs. The Research Council was established in order to support evidenced-based practices. CINAHL and MEDLINE are a couple of the databases that we will be using in order to locate research articles. The Internet has made a huge impact in the ability to share research results.

On the other side of this, is the ability to conduct research using the Internet; it is less expensive, there is greater access to subjects, and data collection is faster. The reliability and validity of the results are impacted by the population bias (internet users); the responders may answer multiple times, give misinformation, or ignore the criteria for participation. In any event, the ability to apply for grants, conduct research and share the results utilizing the Internet will continue to evolve over time.

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