Why Do Evaluations of eHealth Programs Fail? An Alternative Set of Guiding Principles

Why Do Evaluations of eHealth Programs Fail? An Alternative Set of Guiding Principles
Much has been written about why electronic health (eHealth) initiatives fail. Less attention has been paid to why evaluations of such initiatives fail to deliver the insights expected of them. PLoS Medicine has published three papers offering a "robust" and "scientific" approach to eHealth evaluation. One recommended systematically addressing each part of a "chain of reasoning", at the centre of which was the program's goals. Another proposed a quasi-experimental step-wedge design, in which late adopters of eHealth innovations serve as controls for early adopters. Interestingly, the authors of the empirical study flagged by these authors as an exemplary illustration of the step-wedge design subsequently abandoned it in favour of a largely qualitative case study because they found it impossible to establish anything approaching a controlled experiment in the study's complex, dynamic, and heavily politicised context.

The approach to evaluation presented in the previous PLoS Medicine series rests on a set of assumptions that philosophers of science call "positivist": that there is an external reality that can be objectively measured; that phenomena such as "project goals", "outcomes", and "formative feedback" can be precisely and unambiguously defined; that facts and values are clearly distinguishable; and that generalisable statements about the relationship between input and output variables are possible.

Read on-line: Why Do Evaluations of eHealth Programs Fail? An Alternative Set of Guiding Principles

Download from eHealthNews.eu Portal's mirror: Why Do Evaluations of eHealth Programs Fail? An Alternative Set of Guiding Principles (.pdf, 99 KB).

Citation: Greenhalgh T, Russell J (2010) Why Do Evaluations of eHealth Programs Fail? An Alternative Set of Guiding Principles. PLoS Med 7(11): e1000360. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000360

Copyright: © 2010 Greenhalgh, Russell. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Most Popular Now

FDA Authorizes Software that Can Help Id…

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized marketing of software to assist medical professionals who examine body tissues (pathologists) in the detection of areas that are suspicious for cancer...

Orion Health Supports Professional Recor…

Orion Health is supporting the Professional Record Standards Body's partnership scheme by applying to become a 'quality partner'. The company, which is one of the UK’s leading providers of shared care...

Roche Opens Access to Pathology Imaging …

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced the introduction of the Roche Digital Pathology Open Environment that allows software developers to easily integrate their image analysis tools for tumour tissue...

App Launched in Multiple Languages to He…

An app is being launched to help patients with long term conditions manage their health via care plans accessed on their phone. Unity, by mobile health provider, Health Fabric, will...

Northumbria Healthcare Picks CliniSys to…

Pathologists at one of England's most innovative trusts have chosen the CliniSys laboratory information system (LIMS) as part of a digital strategy to support its drive to continually improve patient...

A Computer Algorithm Called 'Eva' May Ha…

A prescriptive computer program developed by the USC Marshall School of Business and Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania for Greece to identify asymptomatic, infected travelers...

Contact-Tracing Apps could Improve Vacci…

Mathematical modeling of disease spread suggests that herd immunity could be achieved with fewer vaccine doses by using Bluetooth-based contact-tracing apps to identify people who have more exposure to others...

University of Oxford and Oracle Cloud Sy…

The fast spread of the highly infectious Delta variant underscores the need for faster identification of COVID-19 mutations. Uniting governments and medical communities in this challenge, the University of Oxford...

Study Finds Telemedicine Appointments Re…

Telemedicine appointments combined with in-person visits significantly reduced the risk of further illness for children with medically complex cases, according to results of a new study by researchers with The...

AI Tool Improves Accuracy of Breast Canc…

A computer program trained to see patterns among thousands of breast ultrasound images can aid physicians in accurately diagnosing breast cancer, a new study shows. When tested separately on 44,755 already...

Using Internet in Retirement Boosts Cogn…

Using the internet during your retirement years can boost your cognitive function, a new study has found. Researchers from Lancaster University Management School, the Norwegian University Science and Technology and...

FDA Clears First Major Imaging Device Ad…

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the first new major technological improvement for Computed Tomography (CT) imaging in nearly a decade. "Computed tomography is an important medical imaging tool...