Is There a Quality Linkage of E-Health?

Abstract

Complex quality issues within complex systems rarely have one root cause. As a result, random activities with one piece of a process can provoke unexpected results. For example, technology solutions may improve some patient safety factors but may also cause unexpected problems. Therefore, although the vigorous pursuit of technology advancements is absolutely vital, the emergence of new interactions cannot be overlooked. In this context, it is vital to realize that we still cannot capture all the multidimensional variables that run parallel to, intersects with, diverge from and converge with the evolution of e-health. Small deviations are being carried through the interaction and result in magnified impact, which is amplified when the incompatible worlds of patient, family, and visitor meet the world of healthcare professionals. On the other hand, quality movement needs to advocate for the free flow of information in order to fertilize organizational learning and nourish worker intelligence (Wheatley, 1999). However, information cannot be disentangled from e-health initiatives. Information technology provides alternative methods for making health information accessible to consumers while research shows an improvement of health awareness, high user satisfaction, evidence of greater benefit for under-served people and beneficial impact on health behavior But do all this translate into a quality linkage of e-health? Understanding the linkage between e-health and quality is a complicated task because no definitional consensus exists for either of these terms. The lack of shared definition can present challenges from both practical and academic perspectives (Pate & Turner-Ferrier, 2010; Kastania, 2010). Academically, the lack of shared definition can serve as a motivating force for a meaningful dialogue to promote knowledge. From a pragmatic point of view, different conceptualizations held by different stakeholders can also lead to serious dialogue with the intention of arriving at definitional resolution. On the other hand, the lack of consensus can cause inter and intra-organizational dysfunctions as organizations adhere to and try to leverage their own positions for self-gain (Pate & Turner-Ferrier, 2010). Therefore, establishing a common language may serve as a powerful platform that enables e-health to more effectively enable organizations to achieve quality improvement.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Kastania2011IsTA, title={Is There a Quality Linkage of E-Health?}, author={Anastasia N. Kastania}, year={2011} }