IT-supported skill-mix change and standardisation in integrated eyecare: Lessons from two screening projects in The Netherlands

M. de Mul, A.A. de Bont, M. Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Introduction:
Information Technology (IT) has the potential to significantly support skill-mix change and, thereby, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of integrated care.

Theory and methods:
IT and skill-mix change share an important precondition: the standardisation of work processes. Standardisation plays a crucial role in IT-supported skill-mix change. It is not a matter of more or less standardisation than in the ‘old’ situation, but about creating an optimal fit. We used qualitative data from our evaluation of two integrated-care projects in Dutch eyecare to identify domains where this fit is important.

Results:
While standardisation was needed to delegate screening tasks from physicians to non-physicians, and to assure the quality of the integrated-care process as a whole, tensions arose in three domains: the performance of clinical tasks, the documentation, and the communication between professionals. Unfunctional standardisation led to dissatisfaction and distrust between the professionals involved in screening.

Discussion and conclusion:
Although the integration seems promising, much work is needed to ensure a synergistic relationship between skill-mix change and IT. Developing IT-supported skill-mix change by means of standardisation is a matter of tailoring standardisation to fit the situation at hand, while dealing with the local constraints of available technology and organisational context.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Integrated Care
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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