Restructuring human infrastructure: The impact of HER deployment in a volunteer-dependent clinic

Charlotte Tang, Yunan Chen, Bryan Semaan, Jahmeilah Roberson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Non-profit organizations (NPOs) are often resourcerestricted and rely on volunteers to function. As such, their human infrastructure-The social system supporting work-is different from conventional organizations, and technologies that function in a traditional organization with a stable workforce may not work in NPOs. Through an investigation of the deployment of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system in a safety-net free clinic serving underprivileged populations, we report how the EHR system disrupted the human infrastructure-namely, the work typically enacted by volunteers. Specifically, there was a mismatch between the technological and human infrastructures leading to diminished volunteer roles, an increased workload for paid employees, and a negative impact on the quality of patient care. In turn, employees acted to reconcile the disrupted human infrastructure by creating new work roles for volunteers, re-establishing the quality of patient care, and developing workarounds for volunteers to resume their volunteer work. Finally we discuss how the commercial EHR system failed to support the fluid volunteer-based human infrastructure of the free clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages649-661
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781450329224
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2015
Event18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015 - BC, Canada
Duration: Mar 14 2015Mar 18 2015

Other

Other18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015
CountryCanada
CityBC
Period3/14/153/18/15

Keywords

  • Electronic Health Record
  • Free Clinic
  • Human Infrastructure
  • Technology Deployment
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Volunteer-Dependent Work Practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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  • Cite this

    Tang, C., Chen, Y., Semaan, B., & Roberson, J. (2015). Restructuring human infrastructure: The impact of HER deployment in a volunteer-dependent clinic. In CSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (pp. 649-661). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/2675133.2675277