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"More" work for nurses : the ironies of eHealth

Frennert, Susanne LU orcid ; Petersson, Lena LU orcid and Erlingsdottir, Gudbjörg LU (2023) In BMC Health Services Research 23. p.1-12
Abstract

BACKGROUND: eHealth applications are considered a technological fix that can potentially address some of the grand challenges in healthcare, including burnout among healthcare professionals, the growing burden of patients with chronic conditions, and retaining and recruiting healthcare professionals. However, as the deployment of eHealth applications in healthcare is relatively novel, there is a lack of research on how they affect the work environment of healthcare professionals. This study explores how work evolves-particularly for nurses-during the utilisation of three eHealth applications.

METHODS: The study is a qualitative case study with an interpretive approach. The utilisation of three different eHealth applications was... (More)

BACKGROUND: eHealth applications are considered a technological fix that can potentially address some of the grand challenges in healthcare, including burnout among healthcare professionals, the growing burden of patients with chronic conditions, and retaining and recruiting healthcare professionals. However, as the deployment of eHealth applications in healthcare is relatively novel, there is a lack of research on how they affect the work environment of healthcare professionals. This study explores how work evolves-particularly for nurses-during the utilisation of three eHealth applications.

METHODS: The study is a qualitative case study with an interpretive approach. The utilisation of three different eHealth applications was studied. Seventy-five healthcare professionals were interviewed, most of whom were nurses (n = 47). Interviews were transcribed verbatim and qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the text.

RESULTS: Three main themes were identified: work that is ignored and overlooked; actions needed to complete visible work; and more sedentary work activities. The findings suggest that work surrounding the utilisation of eHealth applications in care practices is mostly performed by nurses. While the promise of more efficient workflows resulting from healthcare's digital transformation may be realised to different degrees, the utilisation of eHealth applications creates additional invisible labour for nurses.

CONCLUSION: We identified through our analysis that the extra work created by eHealth applications is invisible at the organisational level. Most of the invisible labour was performed by nurses, who were engaged in utilising the eHealth applications. This needs to be recognised when implementing eHealth applications in care practices.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
eHealth applications, Telemedicine/methods, Health Personnel, Digital health, Qualitative Research, Nurses, Invisible work, Articulated work
in
BMC Health Services Research
volume
23
article number
411
pages
12 pages
publisher
BioMed Central (BMC)
external identifiers
  • pmid:37106404
  • scopus:85156225797
ISSN
1472-6963
DOI
10.1186/s12913-023-09418-3
project
Förbättrade arbets- och patientflöden i primärvården med digitalt Flow
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a250ebe8-ab43-4ae6-9485-3920a921e57e
date added to LUP
2023-05-11 07:49:43
date last changed
2024-02-19 19:40:11
@article{a250ebe8-ab43-4ae6-9485-3920a921e57e,
  abstract     = {{<p>BACKGROUND: eHealth applications are considered a technological fix that can potentially address some of the grand challenges in healthcare, including burnout among healthcare professionals, the growing burden of patients with chronic conditions, and retaining and recruiting healthcare professionals. However, as the deployment of eHealth applications in healthcare is relatively novel, there is a lack of research on how they affect the work environment of healthcare professionals. This study explores how work evolves-particularly for nurses-during the utilisation of three eHealth applications.</p><p>METHODS: The study is a qualitative case study with an interpretive approach. The utilisation of three different eHealth applications was studied. Seventy-five healthcare professionals were interviewed, most of whom were nurses (n = 47). Interviews were transcribed verbatim and qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the text.</p><p>RESULTS: Three main themes were identified: work that is ignored and overlooked; actions needed to complete visible work; and more sedentary work activities. The findings suggest that work surrounding the utilisation of eHealth applications in care practices is mostly performed by nurses. While the promise of more efficient workflows resulting from healthcare's digital transformation may be realised to different degrees, the utilisation of eHealth applications creates additional invisible labour for nurses.</p><p>CONCLUSION: We identified through our analysis that the extra work created by eHealth applications is invisible at the organisational level. Most of the invisible labour was performed by nurses, who were engaged in utilising the eHealth applications. This needs to be recognised when implementing eHealth applications in care practices.</p>}},
  author       = {{Frennert, Susanne and Petersson, Lena and Erlingsdottir, Gudbjörg}},
  issn         = {{1472-6963}},
  keywords     = {{eHealth applications; Telemedicine/methods; Health Personnel; Digital health; Qualitative Research; Nurses; Invisible work; Articulated work}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  month        = {{04}},
  pages        = {{1--12}},
  publisher    = {{BioMed Central (BMC)}},
  series       = {{BMC Health Services Research}},
  title        = {{"More" work for nurses : the ironies of eHealth}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-023-09418-3}},
  doi          = {{10.1186/s12913-023-09418-3}},
  volume       = {{23}},
  year         = {{2023}},
}