Are healthcare workers stressed by information technology?

Digital transformation of the healthcare brings new levels of stress.

Much has been written about the impact of digital technologies to support healthcare professionals during these difficult times. However, an important aspect of digital transformation of the healthcare workplace is that new technology adoption brings new levels of stress.

Partly such stress can occur with any change – we all get comfortable doing what we do, and disruption creates uncertainty, requires new workplace practices, and may devalue hard earned trust. But digital disruption brings further concerns as it has the potential to change the decision-making processes, questions the role of authority figures, and rebalances the patient-carer relationship. What happens, for example, if a patient has access to more accurate and timely information about their condition than their carer?

The article is based on a new in-depth academic publication on “technostress” in the healthcare sector recently published in the MISQ journal:

While there are indeed many benefits associated with the increased adoption of HIT, there are also many negatives linked to its use as well – one of the most prominent being the psychological stress that can result from using HIT, commonly referred to as technostress.

The challenges of “technostress” are already well documented and researched. In practice, however, there is much more to be understood about its impact on a large workforce such as the NHS as it adjusts to an extended period of volatility and uncertainty.

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