Monday, August 27, 2007
The objective of this blog is to contribute to the debate regarding the role of new technologies in the global information society. Special interdisciplinary attention is focused on health care systems at the institutional, national and global levels of analysis. I recently gave a talk at the American Medical Informatics Association Spring Congress. I outlined my research program to create a framework for analyzing the development of virtual infrastructures in ideologically diverse health care systems, considering a variety of studies including U.S., British, Indian, Cuban and Ugandan national cases. Market dynamics and system control mechanisms define the logic of system structures, processes and ideologies. Ideology is expressed in patterns of stakeholders’ participation in the financing, administration, and regulation of health care, including the roles of government, health care professionals, and patients. Globalization of health care services markets requires compatible general institutional frameworks with governance through international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank. While globalization brings about increased interaction among national economies, this does not necessarily imply convergence of institutional arrangements. This blog explores how virtual infrastructures and ICTs are transforming health care systems and shaping the emergence of global services markets.
The research methodology for this program of research is qualitative case analysis. Technological innovation and economic globalization motivate rapid social changes inaccessible to nomological model identification. Idiographic case research methods yield holistic descriptive analysis and assessment of complex health care management systems within their social, economic, and cultural contexts. Multiple sources of data include published studies and research reports well as the Internet sites of the health care infrastructures under study and their network configurations. The holistic level of analysis includes health care systems and their virtual institutional environments. Comparative case analyses of virtual infrastructures suggest that while powerful trends such as health care service decentralization and privatisation have profoundly affected global markets, national systems display unique ideologies and social logics reflecting local cultures and values as well as varying stages of development.
From week to week I will add discussion and resources useful to this research program. Your commentaries, suggestions and collaboration are very welcome.
1. Séror A. A Case Analysis of Infomed: The Cuban National Health Care Telecommunications Network and Portal. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2006;8(1):e1. Available at: http://www.jmir.org/2006/1/e1/
2. Séror A. Internet Infrastructures and Health Care Systems: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis on Networks and Markets in the British National Health Service and Kaiser Permanente. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2002;4(2). Available at: http://www.jmir.org/2002/3/e21/index.htm
3. Dallago B. The Organizational Effect of the Economic System. Journal of Economic Issues 2002;36(4):953-979.
4. Séror A. The Internet, Global Healthcare Management Systems and Sustainable Development: Future Scenarios. The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries 2001;5. Available at: http://new.ejisdc.org/ojs/index.php
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