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1.  Video observation in HIT development: lessons learned on benefits and challenges 
Background
Experience shows that the precondition for the development of successful health information technologies is a thorough insight into clinical work practice. In contemporary clinical work practice, clinical work and health information technology are integrated, and part of the practice is tacit. When work practice becomes routine, it slips to the background of the conscious awareness and becomes difficult to recognize without the context to support recall. This means that it is difficult to capture with traditional ethnographic research methods or in usability laboratories or clinical set ups. Observation by the use of the video technique within healthcare settings has proven to be capable of providing a thorough insight into the complex clinical work practice and its context - including parts of the tacit practice. The objective of this paper is 1) to argue for the video observation technique to inform and improve health-information-technology development and 2) to share insights and lessons learned on benefits and challenges when using the video observation technique within healthcare settings.
Methods
A multiple case study including nine case studies conducted by DaCHI researchers 2004–2011 using audio-visual, non-participant video observation for data collection within different healthcare settings.
Results
In HIT development, video observation is beneficial for 1) informing and improving system design 2) studying changes in work practice 3) identifying new potentials and 4) documenting current work practices.
Conclusions
The video observation technique used within healthcare settings is superior to other ethnographic research methods when it comes to disclosing the complexity in clinical work practice. The insights gained are far more realistic compared to traditional ethnographic studies or usability studies and studies in clinical set ups. Besides, the data generated through video recordings provide a solid basis for dialog between the health care professionals involved. The most important lessons learned are that a well considered methodology and clear formulated objectives are imperative, in order to stay focused during the data rich analysis phase. Additionally, the video observation technique is primarily recommended for studies of specific clinical work practices within delimited clinical settings. Overall, the video observation technique has proven to be capable of improving our understanding of the interwoven relation between clinical work practice and HIT and to inform us about user requirements and needs for HIT, which is a precondition for the development of more successful HIT systems in the future.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-12-91
PMCID: PMC3470972  PMID: 22913495
Health information technology; Video observation; Visual ethnography; Visual methodology; Sociomateriality; Clinical work practice studies; Work practice studies
2.  Methods to identify, study and understand End-user participation in HIT development 
Background
Experience has shown that for new health-information-technology (HIT) to be suc-cessful clinicians must obtain positive clinical benefits as a result of its implementation and joint-ownership of the decisions made during the development process. A prerequisite for achieving both success criteria is real end-user-participation. Experience has also shown that further research into developing improved methods to collect more detailed information on social groups participating in HIT development is needed in order to support, facilitate and improve real end-user participation.
Methods
A case study of an EHR planning-process in a Danish county from October 2003 until April 2006 was conducted using process-analysis. Three social groups (physicians, IT-professionals and administrators) were identified and studied in the local, present perspective. In order to understand the interactions between the three groups, the national, historic perspective was included through a literature-study. Data were collected through observations, interviews, insight gathered from documents and relevant literature.
Results
In the local, present perspective, the administrator's strategy for the EHR planning process meant that there was no clinical workload-reduction. This was seen as one of the main barriers to the physicians to achieving real influence. In the national, historic perspective, physicians and administrators have had/have different perceptions of the purpose of the patient record and they have both struggled to influence this definition. To date, the administrators have won the battle. This explains the conditions made available for the physicians' participation in this case, which led to their role being reduced to that of clinical consultants - rather than real participants.
Conclusion
In HIT-development the interests of and the balance of power between the different social groups involved are decisive in determining whether or not the end-users become real participants in the development process. Real end-user-participation is essential for the successful outcome of the process. By combining and developing existing theories and methods, this paper presents an improved method to collect more detailed information on social groups participating in HIT-development and their interaction during the development. This allows HIT management to explore new avenues during the HIT development process in order to support, facilitate and improve real end-user participation.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-11-57
PMCID: PMC3196903  PMID: 21955493

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