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Inform Health Soc Care. 2011 Mar;36(2):89-99. doi: 10.3109/17538157.2010.535129. Epub 2011 Feb 3.

Estimating the success of e-health collaborative services: the THEMIS framework.

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Telemedicine Unit, School of Medicine, University of Patras, University Campus 26500, Greece.


This study proposes a prototype framework (THEMIS) for estimating algebraically the success (S) of the electronic health collaborative services (e-HCS) and examines two hypotheses: first, that the S estimation of an e-HCS, developed by a third-party vendor, demands a 'shrunk formative model' and second that causal relationships between the involved dimensions (FFP, CO, COSTS) do exist, and their parameters affect the S - from weakly to strongly and vice-versa. A formative model was shrunk to generate three causal dimensions ('Collaborators Objections', 'Costs', 'Fitness for Purpose'). Then, the new framework (THEMIS) was enriched with a causal loop diagram, a prototype scoring method, (termed 'polarisation method') and 42 questions. In order to investigate the feasibility of the THEMIS framework, we estimated the S of 15 e-HCSs and the algebraic outcomes (E(S)) were compared - one by one - with usage categories produced by a commercial software. Our findings supported the initial hypotheses. The S was estimated with accuracy; for the e-HCSs with a weak E(S) the commercial software verified that they remained idle several times during the 11-month evaluation period, whereas the e-HCS with a strong E(S) the commercial software verified that they were used frequently. Frameworks, such as the one proposed, which are based on both qualitative and quantitative methods, may provide significant support on the S estimation field.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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