Interactive sociotechnical analysis: Identifying and coping with unintended consequences of IT implementation

Michael I. Harrison, Ross Koppel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Many unintended and undesired consequences of healthcare information technologies (HIT) are generated by interactions between newly introduced HIT and the existing healthcare organization's sociotechnical system--its workflows, culture, social interactions, physical environment, and technologies. This chapter presents and illustrates a model of these interactions that we call interactive sociotechnical analysis (ISTA). ISTA places special emphasis on recursive processes (i.e., feedback loops that alter the uses of the newly introduced HIT) promote second-level changes in the social system, and sometimes lead to changes in the new HIT systems themselves. We discuss ISTA's implications for improving HIT implementation practices and suggest how clinicians, IT specialists, and managers can better anticipate likely consequences of introducing HIT; more effectively diagnose unforeseeable consequences which emerge during implementation; and better respond to these emerging consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Advances in Health Informatics and Electronic Healthcare Applications
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Adoption and Impact of Information Communication Technologies
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781605660301
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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