Technological Change at Work: The Impact of Employee Involvement on the Effectiveness of Health Information Technology

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REVISED VERSION OF This paper uses employee and patient survey data from a large, integrated healthcare provider to assess the moderating role that employee involvement (EI) plays in the effectiveness of a patient scheduling module that is part of an electronic health record (EHR) system. The author finds that while the module facilitated the appointment-making process, its effects were greater in those clinics that sought input from frontline workers and made use of worker peers trained as system “super-users.” This study presents the first empirical evidence of EI’s potential to enhance the effectiveness of health IT, findings that should inform policymakers and sectoral actors as they allocate substantial resources toward the healthcare industry’s transition from paper-based to electronic recordkeeping. More critically, this case of workplace technological change advances work and employment theory beyond the analysis of union policies toward technological change, instead explaining how employment relations structures and processes influence the effectiveness ofnew technologies—IT in particular.
electronic health records (EHR), health information technology, I00: Health, Education, and Welfare: General, employee involvement, information technology (IT), J50: Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, Collective Bargaining: General