‘Dangerous Enthusiasm’ or ‘Disruptive Innovation’?
This chapter considers the motivations behind the significant investments that governments have made in e-health in general and electronic health records (EHRs) in particular. Two propositions concerning the policy and financial investments that governments have and continue to make in developing national EHRs are explored. The first argument, in part fuelled by broader experiences of public investments in information systems, suggests that such policies can reflect a ‘dangerous enthusiasm’ on the part of politicians and policy-makers that exposes significant weaknesses in the ability of governments and their agencies to manage large-scale information-technology projects. The second argument takes a different tack and explores the significance of EHRs as a key component of the ‘disruptive innovation’ required to transform healthcare systems so that they can cope more effectively with the challenges they face.
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