Information technology implementation in service enhancement: a qualitative case study

Michael R. Johnson


The article presents a qualitative case study of the complexities involved in information technology (IT) implementation through illuminating the methods used by two different nurses in the same service enhancement initiative. The importance, relevance and history of learning IT skills is introduced and qualitative case study is argued to be a suitable methodology for investigating and unlocking such social phenomena. Three interviews were conducted and the data combined into a single narrative. One of the participants is very familiar with IT yet reverts to paper for managing numerical data arising from a waiting times audit. This project is taken over by a second nurse who immediately replaces the paper method with a spreadsheet, with help from a service enhancement champion, the third individual interviewed. The circumstances and implications of the nurses’ decisions, to avoid or deploy IT, are briefly discussed. The paper concludes that it is unrealistic to expect all nurses to be extremely fluent with IT. However, the decision to leverage IT for innovation and improvement in clinical settings is made easier if education has provided nurses with a firm conceptual and practical foundation.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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