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Using and choosing digital health technologies: a communications science perspective

Using and choosing digital health technologies: a communications science perspective PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore a non-technical overview for leaders and researchers about how to use a communications perspective to better assess, design and use digital health technologies (DHTs) to improve healthcare performance and to encourage more research into implementation and use of these technologies.Design/methodology/approachNarrative overview, showing through examples the issues and benefits of introducing DHTs for healthcare performance and the insights that communications science brings to their design and use.FindingsCommunications research has revealed the many ways in which people communicate in non-verbal ways, and how this can be lost or degraded in digitally mediated forms. These losses are often not recognized, can increase risks to patients and reduce staff satisfaction. Yet digital technologies also contribute to improving healthcare performance and staff morale if skillfully designed and implemented.Research limitations/implicationsResearchers are provided with an introduction to the limitations of the research and to how communications science can contribute to a multidisciplinary research approach to evaluating and assisting the implementation of these technologies to improve healthcare performance.Practical implicationsUsing this overview, managers are more able to ask questions about how the new DHTs will affect healthcare and take a stronger role in implementing these technologies to improve performance.Originality/valueNew insights into the use and understanding of DHTs from applying the new multidiscipline of communications science. A situated communications perspective helps to assess how a new technology can complement rather than degrade professional relationships and how safer implementation and use of these technologies can be devised. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Health Organisation and Management Emerald Publishing

Using and choosing digital health technologies: a communications science perspective

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1477-7266
DOI
10.1108/JHOM-07-2016-0128
pmid
28260405
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore a non-technical overview for leaders and researchers about how to use a communications perspective to better assess, design and use digital health technologies (DHTs) to improve healthcare performance and to encourage more research into implementation and use of these technologies.Design/methodology/approachNarrative overview, showing through examples the issues and benefits of introducing DHTs for healthcare performance and the insights that communications science brings to their design and use.FindingsCommunications research has revealed the many ways in which people communicate in non-verbal ways, and how this can be lost or degraded in digitally mediated forms. These losses are often not recognized, can increase risks to patients and reduce staff satisfaction. Yet digital technologies also contribute to improving healthcare performance and staff morale if skillfully designed and implemented.Research limitations/implicationsResearchers are provided with an introduction to the limitations of the research and to how communications science can contribute to a multidisciplinary research approach to evaluating and assisting the implementation of these technologies to improve healthcare performance.Practical implicationsUsing this overview, managers are more able to ask questions about how the new DHTs will affect healthcare and take a stronger role in implementing these technologies to improve performance.Originality/valueNew insights into the use and understanding of DHTs from applying the new multidiscipline of communications science. A situated communications perspective helps to assess how a new technology can complement rather than degrade professional relationships and how safer implementation and use of these technologies can be devised.

Journal

Journal of Health Organisation and ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 20, 2017

References