Can Information Technology Save Health Care?
The Canadian health care system is at a critical juncture because of rapidly rising costs and increasing demand for modern health services. Wait times in emergency rooms, difficulties finding a family physician, limited access to specialized services and communication failures between health organizations are all symptoms of the coordination challenges facing the health care system.
Billions of dollars are invested every year in emerging technologies; however, information technology often performs with less success than expected in health care because of organizational, cultural and implementation issues.
As Canada Research Chair in Technology, Management and Health Care, Dr. Samer Faraj studies how information technology is transforming work and the provision of health care. Faraj relies on intensive fieldwork to understand how medical teams work together to share expertise and deliver care, and how information technology changes cross-disciplinary and cross-site collaboration.
Faraj’s research will address two specific topics—first, how health stakeholders respond to the possibilities created by new technologies; and second, how emerging types of coordination develop in medical settings where different expertise needs to be integrated.
An effective health care system requires a digital infrastructure that supports all the different ways information is shared. By studying the integration of information technologies, and how to improve medical work organization and coordination, Faraj hopes to identify ways to significantly improve health care.