Creating Coordinative Paths from admission to discharge: The role of lightweight IT in hospital digital process innovation

Date
2018-01-03
Authors
Øvrelid, Egil
Sanner, Terje
Siebenherz, Anette
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Abstract
In this paper, we examine the role of IT in process innovations related to patient flow from emergency care admission, through subsequent patient transfers, and discharge. In particular, we explore how digital technology helps create and improve coordinative paths. We find that the interplay between traditional "heavyweight IT" (resilient, secure and stable) and "lightweight IT" (mobile, context-aware and flexible) enable process innovation in complex health care settings. Drawing on Zuboffs "informate" perspective, we highlight the strength of digital information technology as a process innovation enabler. We provide two contributions. First, we shed light on the innovative capacity of lightweight IT as a flexible, dynamic and distributed technology for process innovation. Second, using Garud and Kumaraswamys framework of vicious and virtuous circles, we identify and discuss potential positive and negative outcomes of process innovation.
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Keywords
IT-Enabled Healthcare Coordination, Digitalization of Healtcare processes, Healthcare coordination, Lightweight IT, Process Innovation, Vicious and virtuous circles
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