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

Alcidion Acquires UK Patient Flow Softwa…

Smart health technology provider Alcidion Group has today announced the strategic acquisition of ExtraMed, a UK company which specialises in providing NHS trusts with software that helps frontline staff make...

New AI Tool Tracks Evolution of COVID-19…

A new machine-learning program accurately identifies COVID-19-related conspiracy theories on social media and models how they evolved over time - a tool that could someday help public health officials combat...

Siemens Healthineers Completes Acquisiti…

Siemens Healthineers AG (Frankfurt: SHL) announced that it has successfully completed the acquisition of Varian Medical Systems, Inc. ("Varian"). The acquisition was previously announced on August 2, 2020. "With Varian, Siemens...

Artificial Intelligence Model Predicts w…

The human immune defense is based on the ability of white blood cells to accurately identify disease-causing pathogens and to initiate a defense reaction against them. The immune defense is...

Commission Opens First European Innovati…

Following the launch of the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the announcement of the first funding opportunities, today the Commission opened the first EIC Accelerator calls. The funding worth over...

Talking Health Tech

Opinion Article by Andy Kinnear, Partnerships Director, Ethical Healthcare Consulting. Ethical is different. The guy who founded it, [chief executive] Thomas Webb, comes from an NHS background and he is very...

International Master in Digital Health i…

The Master of Digital Health, MDH (formerly - Master of Medical Informatics, MMI) at European Campus Rottal-Inn (ECRI) - a branch of the Deggendorf University of Applied Sciences (DIT) in Bavaria...

Call for Papers: DigiHealthDay-2021

12 November 2021 The DigiHealthDay 2021 is an International Symposium with the theme "Global Digital Health - Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond". The abstracts pertaining to the field of digital health and...

Proposal for a Regulation Laying Down Ha…

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a fast evolving family of technologies that can bring a wide array of economic and societal benefits across the entire spectrum of industries and social activities...

Leeds Hospitals go Live with Agfa Health…

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) has successfully implemented Agfa HealthCare's Enterprise Imaging (EI) solution, a unified platform complete with clinical tools, reporting and a workflow engine that will help...

Digital Mental Health Interventions for …

An increasing number of digital mental health interventions are designed for adolescents and young people with a range of mental health issues, but the evidence on their effectiveness is mixed...

CoolClinical.com has Developed the First…

Cool Clinical announced the release of the publication on the first Artificial Intelligence system for predicting outcomes of cancer treatment, using data from clinical trials. This is a breakthrough for...