Undertaking sociotechnical evaluations of health information technologies

Inform Prim Care. 2014;21(2):78-83. doi: 10.14236/jhi.v21i2.54.


There is an increasing international recognition that the evaluation of health information technologies should involve assessments of both the technology and the social/organisational contexts into which it is deployed. There is, however, a lack of agreement on definitions, published guidance on how such 'sociotechnical evaluations' should be undertaken, and how they distinguish themselves from other approaches. We explain what sociotechnical evaluations are, consider the contexts in which these are most usefully undertaken, explain what they entail, reflect on the potential pitfalls associated with such research, and suggest possible ways to avoid these.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic*
  • Medical Informatics Applications*
  • Medical Informatics*
  • Organizational Culture
  • User-Computer Interface*