Technology-Adoption Decisions in Infection Prevention are Studied

The nature, sources and format of evidence used by managers and clinicians is important in introducing innovations in healthcare. Researchers on the faculty of medicine at Imperial College London investigated the organizational decision-making process focusing on the adoption of innovative technologies in the context of infection prevention and control (IPC) and the nature of evidence used.

The researchers conducted a qualitative, multi-level, multiple case study design involving primary and acute care trusts. They conducted 121 semi-structured interviews drawing on a purposive multi-level, multi-stakeholder sample. Data was analysed using an integrated approach.

The researchers mapped out 38 organizational technology selection decisions from July 2009 to August 2010. They specifically mapped the organizational adoption decisions to three types of innovation knowledge: awareness (awareness that the innovation exists), principles (its functioning principles) and how to (information related to its practical use). The leadership role adopted by the director of infection prevention and control and the professional background of key decision makers influenced this asymmetry to different types of knowledge considered.

In the commercial sector, innovation adoption focuses at the individual level and majority of attention by change agencies is around awareness and how to knowledge. In their study, the researchers found the converse; overall less attention was given to how to knowledge at the point of innovation adoption decision and more attention was attributed to principles knowledge both by decision makers and change agents. Attending to how to knowledge at decision making stage may enhance successful technology adoption and effective use. This has important implications for suppliers, managers and clinicians.

Reference: Kyratsis Y, Ahmad R and Holmes A. The sources and types of innovation knowledge in technology adoption decisions in infection prevention and control comparative case studies of 12 NHS trusts in England. Presentation at ICPAC, June 2011. BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 6):O47

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