Design principles for achieving integrated healthcare information systems

Health Informatics J. 2013 Mar;19(1):29-45. doi: 10.1177/1460458212448890.


Achieving integrated healthcare information systems has become a common goal for many countries in their pursuit of obtaining coordinated and comprehensive healthcare services. This article focuses on how a small local project termed 'Standardized pull of patient data' expanded and is now used on a large scale providing a majority of hospitals, general practitioners and citizens across Denmark with the possibility of accessing healthcare data from different electronic patient record systems and other systems. I build on design theory for information infrastructures, as presented by Hanseth and Lyytinen, to examine the design principles that facilitated this smallscale project to expand and become widespread. As a result of my findings, I outline three lessons learned that emphasize: (i) principles of flexibility, (ii) expansion from the installed base through modular strategies and (iii) identification of key healthcare actors to provide them with immediate benefits.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Peripherals
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / methods
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration*
  • Denmark
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Electronic Health Records / standards*
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Health Information Systems*
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Systems Integration*
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / standards