The organizing vision of integrated health information systems

Health Informatics J. 2008 Sep;14(3):223-36. doi: 10.1177/1081180X08093333.


The notion of 'integration' in the context of health information systems is ill-defined yet in widespread use. We identify a variety of meanings ranging from the purely technical integration of information systems to the integration of services. This ambiguity (or interpretive flexibility), we argue, is inherent rather than accidental: it is a necessary prerequisite for mobilizing political and ideological support among stakeholders for integrated health information systems. Building on this, our aim is to trace out the career dynamics of the vision of 'integration/ integrated'. The career dynamics is the transformation of both the imaginary and the material (technological) realizations of the unfolding implementation of the vision of integrated care. Empirically we draw on a large, ongoing project at the University Hospital of North Norway (UNN) to establish an integrated health information system.

MeSH terms

  • Hospitals, University / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Information Systems / organization & administration*
  • Norway
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Systems Integration*