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Challenging the Busterspeed: Technological Artifacts and Working Practices in a Sanitary Organization

Attila Bruni
University of Trento, Italy


Abstract
In organization studies, technology has often been viewed as a helping (if not 'resolving') factor, especially from those who identify humans as non-reliable actors. Technologies have often been invoked for their potential in automatizing and standardizing activities, reducing the possibilities of casual errors and enabling a closer control of individual action. The diffusion of information and communication technologies in the sanitary sector, in particular, has led to the construction of a certain number of technologies for the support of medical decision making that standardize medical practice in a 'correct' sequence of actions, improving individual and organizational accountability. At the same time, even if these technologies seem to have improved the quality and safety of healthcare, it remains unexplored whether and how these technologies facilitate interaction and collaboration within the actors involved and what they imply in terms of coordination in everyday work. Referring to the introduction (in an Italian hospital) of a new technology for the automatic delivery of pharmacological therapy (the Busterspeed), the paper aims to unlock the process that took to the introduction of this new technological system, showing how its adoption can be seen as the result of heterogeneous organizational processes, involving a plurality of actors and requiring a reconfiguration of collective work. Coherently with a framework that looks at organizations as open-ended processes and at technology as social practice, the paper the paper highlights the reciprocal influence between everyday organizational practices and work instruments, and their constant relation to (and translation in) other technologies, practices and actors.

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Reference:Bruni, A. (2010). "Challenging the Busterspeed: Technological Artifacts and Working Practices in a Sanitary Organization," Proceedings > Proceedings of ALPIS
itAIS, Italy . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 10(16). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/10-16
Keywords:Working practices; Technology-in-use; Organizational processes.
Item Type:Article - Volume 10 Article 16 (2010)
Language:English
Email: Attila Bruni (attila.bruni@soc.unitn.it)

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