A grounded theory for ubiquitous information systems (IS) access in healthcare
Abraham, Dorothea LaChon
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Throughout the Information Age, organizations have sought ubiquitous IS access, in one form or another (e.g., duplicate files and centrally located workstations), in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness of processes that in turn enhance task performance. Advances in communication technologies afford access to information anytime anywhere via wireless technologies. The phenomenon is referred to as ubiquitous IS access. This research employs Grounded theory to develop perspectives concerning the impact of ubiquitous IS access, facilitated by wireless technologies, on performance of patient care tasks (i.e., patient registration, electronic charting, and medication administration in three departments of US hospitals). Data are analyzed, relationships interpreted, and three perspectives emerge that represent stakeholder views of conditions associated with implementation, utilization, and performance impacts of ubiquitous IS access. From these perspectives the major findings are as follows: • Ubiquitous IS access provides the caregiver with needed mobility, enhances comprehensiveness of documentation, reduces charting time, reduces the likelihood of errors and reliance on memory, and affords the caregiver more time with the patient. • Ubiquitous IS access helps to promote organizational goals such as patient safety and satisfaction, process efficiency, and recruitment and retention of nurses. • Intervening conditions such as task environmental inhibitors and resistance to change can mitigate benefits of ubiquitous IS access. Ubiquitous IS access ties together requirements for performing tasks when they are (1) information intensive, (2) interdependent, and (3) location, identity, and time dependent. In conclusion, ubiquitous IS access is a dovetailing technology, which is a technology that harmoniously fits the technology characteristics, organizational assets, and task performer capabilities with the requirements of the tasks, keeping in mind the organizational and individual drives that promote optimal performance. Ultimately, this research reveals that ubiquitous IS access fits ideally with the way work is actually done in the environments studied.