Managing a digital transformation : A case study of digitizing functional operations in a sociotechnical system
Sammanfattning: Sweden has the ambition to be the world leading country leveraging the opportunities of digitalization in the healthcare sector. In parallel, the Swedish Research Council highlights that conducting more clinical studies is essential to improve the healthcare. Henceforth, considering the need for increased operational efficiency as an enabler for increased clinical activity, a digital transformation of the industry was identified as a potential catalyst. The study thus utilizes a cognitive work analysis framework to investigate the potential benefits and risks of digitizing the functional operations at a contract management department for clinical studies at a Swedish university hospital. The aim is thereafter to determine the appropriate properties necessary to consider managing a digital transformation. The analysis identified three key benefits from a digitization. 1) transparent data sharing, 2) standardized contract management and 3) efficient operations. These three aspects are currently insufficient at the department hindering the objective of increasing the clinical activity. The study found that a digital transformation would be suitable in order to mitigate these insufficiencies and consequently facilitating the achievement of the objectives. Thereafter, the study found the key properties to consider managing a digital transformation to be interoperability, quality, adaptability and usability. In addition, safety was found critical to be considered in the transformation as the contract management department acts under rigid laws and regulations on ethics and patient security with which digitized processes must comply. The results contribute to the field of cognitive systems engineering. However, the study has limitations regarding the reliability and generalizability of the results. The findings are based on a single case study, which may not be representative for the industry in general nor for university hospitals in particular. In addition, since no actual digitalization effort was performed at the organization during the study, appropriate properties key to consider in the digital transformation are speculative by design. Consequently, it is necessary to study an actual implementation process in future research and whether the proposed considerations are sufficient in order to realize the suggested benefits of such a digitalization.
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