Health information technology (HIT) adaptation: Refocusing on the journey to successful HIT implementation.

02/09/2018

Yen P-Y, McAlearney AS, Sieck CJ, Hefner JL, Huerta TR. (2017). Health information technology (HIT) adaptation: Refocusing on the journey to successful HIT implementation. JMIR Medical Informatics. 5(3): e28. doi: 10.2196/medinform.7476

The authors suggest that the traditional concept of intervention adoption may not be appropriate in the context of health information technology (HIT). Adoption (i.e. the decision by a health care system to invest resources towards implementation of an intervention) is often seen as an isolated event in the implementation process. Since technology frequently changes as a system is updated, adoption doesn’t capture the process of fitting HIT into organizational workflow and the authors assert that HIT implementation should focus on adaptation (i.e. a process of changing current conditions to fit with a new system). The authors draw from sociotechnical theory, which asserts that individual, organizational, and technological elements of a system are interdependent and should be evaluated together. Future HIT adaptation research should: 1) develop appropriate process measures that capture the multidimensional processes of HIT adaptation, 2) examine culture and context at levels between the individual or whole organization (e.g., department, discipline), 3) develop standard methods and definitions for sociotechnical evaluations, and 4) use longitudinal and mixed-methods designs.