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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Is information technology revolutionising healthcare?

Published: 21 July 2008 Origin:  Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology

How are new computer systems changing the healthcare workforce in the 21st century?

Professor Susan Halford and Dr Jane Prichard are part of a Southampton-based UK research team awarded over £400,000 by the National Institute for Health Research (Service Delivery and Organisation Research Programme) to trace the use of computer decision support systems in three different work settings in the UK.

These new systems promise to improve decision making, increasing accuracy and efficiency, and offer opportunities to change workforce composition and workflow across healthcare organisations. However, no-one knows yet whether they will deliver this promise or how – in practice – these new systems will impact on workplace identities, occupational boundaries or established patterns and process of team working. Understanding this is critical to the future planning and management of healthcare delivery and offers new insight to sociological and psychological debates about working lives and organizations and the information society.

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