System design, System implementation, Nursing informatics, Sociology





Information technology systems in hospitals and other healthcare settings have sometimes proved difficult to implement successfully. Some of the problems encountered in the implementation of information technology systems in healthcare can be explained by the use of techniques and theoretical approaches derived from the social sciences, notably sociology and anthropology. Research from a variety of countries and healthcare systems confirms the explicative value of these techniques and approaches. These techniques can also be used to inform better the process of design and implementation of computer systems. Although they have been successfully applied in several industries and spread across several countries, these techniques have not yet been widely used in healthcare. This article suggests how these approaches can be fruitfully applied to the design and implementation of IT systems in healthcare and how this might be achieved.