Title: Networks of collaboration: challenges to electronic process improvement for health information delivery

Authors: Ala Abu-Samaha

Addresses: Faculty of Information Technology, University of Amman, P.O. Box 985, Al-Jubaiha 11941, Amman, Jordan

Abstract: This paper presents the lessons learnt from the usage of electronic data interchange (EDI) links between general practices (GPs) and hospital trusts in the UK for the exchange of laboratory test results. The investigation encompassed a number of interviews conducted over an extended period of time, which involved a number of general practices in the Avon Health Authority localities in the southwest of England. EDI is being used in this situation to replace the previous paper-based communication of pathology laboratory results. Although this intervention has proved successful at a technical level, it has proven problematic on the organisational and personal perspectives. The usage of these EDI links has provided general practices with an innovative way to classify and store laboratory results, the success of which was never realised for many non-technical reasons. Such reasons include the importance of the physical paper result, benefits realisation, and successful integration of EDI messages into working practices and information systems.

Keywords: electronic data interchange; EDI; information systems evaluation; laboratory test results; strategy for information; management and technology; UK GPs; general practice; UK hospital trusts; healthcare.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2003.004172

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2003 Vol.5 No.3/4/5, pp.315 - 334

Available online: 01 Apr 2004 *

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