Conceptual challenges for advancing the socio-technical underpinnings of health informatics

Sue Whetton, Andrew Georgiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This discussion paper considers the adoption of socio-technical perspectives and their theoretical and practical influence within the discipline of health informatics. The paper highlights the paucity of discussion of the philosophy, theory and concepts of socio-technical perspectives within health informatics. Instead of a solid theoretical base from which to describe, study and understand human-information technology interactions we continue to have fragmented, unelaborated understandings. This has resulted in a continuing focus on technical system performance and increasingly managerial outputs to the detriment of social and technical systems analysis. It has also limited critical analyses and the adaptation of socio-technical approaches beyond the immediate environment to the broader social systems of contemporary society, an expansion which is increasingly mandated in today's complex health environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1874-4311/10
Pages (from-to)221-224
Number of pages4
JournalThe open medical informatics journal
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Journal Article


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