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Pernille Bjørn <[log in to unmask]>
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Pernille Bjørn <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 5 Nov 2012 10:18:09 +0000
text/plain (188 lines)
Call for papers: The 4th international workshop on Infrastructures for Healthcare (IHC): Action

Research, Interventions, and Participatory Design. 13 – 14 June 2013

The University of Tromsø, N‐9038 Tromsø, Norway


 Gunnar Ellingsen, University of Tromsø, Norway

 Pernille Bjørn, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Keynote speakers

 Professor Trisha Greenhalgh, Queen Mary, University of London, UK

 Professor Kjeld Schmidt, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

 Tor Arne Viksjø, CEO, DIPS ASA, Norway

 Anne‐Lise Härter, Department Director, The Norwegian Directorate of Health


A short paper of 4 pages.

Important dates

 Deadline for submission: 22 February 2013

 Notification of acceptance: 1 March 2013

 Conference: 13–14 June 2013.

Link to workshop web‐page

Special issue in a journal

Participants from the workshop will be invited to submit articles to a special issue of a peerreviewed

journal. This will be designed as an open call. The workshop at the University of

Tromsø is the fourth of a series where the first three workshops took place in Denmark: first

at the Technical University of Denmark, then at the University of Copenhagen, and most

recently at the IT University of Copenhagen. Each of the workshops has resulted in a special

issue of a journal:

Winthereik, B. and Bansler, J. (2007). Connecting practices: ICT infrastructures to support

integrated care (eds). International Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. 7, No. 16

Bansler, J.P. and Kensing, F. (2010). Information infrastructures for health care: Connecting

practices across institutional and professional boundaries (eds). Computer Supported

Cooperative Work, vol. 19, pp. 519‐520.

Bjørn, P. and Kensing, F. (2012). Infrastructures in healthcare: Global healthcare (eds.).

International Journal of Medical Informatics (in press).


Pressure on the Western healthcare system is mounting due to the prospects of scarce

resources caused by demographic changes as well as greater demand for better treatment

and care. As a result, healthcare authorities and organizations are looking for ways to

streamline and standardize these processes through better pathways for patients and

improved information flow.

ICT and information infrastructures (electronic patient records, telemedicine, laboratory

systems, etc) are regarded as having a strategic role in dealing with these issues, for

supporting clinical personnel in their daily work as well as for providing decision support,

improving efficiency and workflow across institutional, departmental and professional

boundaries. At the same time, many healthcare organizations are committed to local

organizational change projects through LEAN and quality improvement projects, where

clinical personnel participate in identifying organizational bottlenecks and subsequently

suggest and implement solutions. However, many local initiatives do not appear to be

connected to larger ICT strategies at present, indicating that an information infrastructure

perspective offers an unrealized potential. This presents challenges for managers,

practitioners and researchers on how to address these issues: how to intervene in this

heterogeneous landscape to ensure impact on “real” practical settings.

Given the demands and opportunities for larger changes in the healthcare sector, it is also

evident that the inherent characteristics of an information infrastructure pose several

challenges on how to manage and exploit these technologies efficiently. An information

infrastructure in healthcare is typically a compound of many interdependent information

systems, spanning several organizational levels, and embedded in various clinical practices in

different ways. Many of the large‐scale systems in healthcare are also purchased through

costly bid for tender processes involving representatives from managers, ICT personnel and

external consultants, suggesting that the degree of user involvement is limited.

The size, scope and inertia of existing information infrastructures thus raise critical questions

about how to change these technologies, which role users can play in designing new

functionality, and how studies of large‐scale infrastructures can induce operational changes.

In addition, there are methodological questions related to which part of the infrastructure

should be studied, in which phase, and for what period.

We wish to bring international researchers, healthcare professionals, IT professionals,

administrators, and IT enterprises together to discuss these issues. We particularly invite

contributions that are methodologically based on ethnographic/case/field studies. Topics of

particular interest include, but are not limited to:

 Change and management of healthcare information infrastructures

 Implementation and adoption of infrastructures

 The role of clinical users in tailoring infrastructures

 Participatory and interventionist approaches related to information infrastructures

 Action research in large‐scale infrastructural settings.

 The role of researchers in studying infrastructures

 Reflections on practical impact – what it is, methods, and how to achieve it

 Balancing of different viewpoints and interests in large‐scale infrastructural projects.

 Scaling and sustainability of infrastructures

 Workplace studies of healthcare practices.

Pernille Bjørn, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
IT University of Copenhagen
Rued Langgaards Vej 7, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark
phone: +45 72185272; email: [log in to unmask]; web:
Project manager for NexGSD -
Global Interaction research initiative GIRI
Technologies in Practices research group

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