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Aust Health Rev. 2018 Jun;42(3):294-298. doi: 10.1071/AH16294.

Digital disruption 'syndromes' in a hospital: important considerations for the quality and safety of patient care during rapid digital transformation.

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Princess Alexandra Hospital, Metro South Health, Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba, Qld 4102, Australia.


The digital transformation of hospitals in Australia is occurring rapidly in order to facilitate innovation and improve efficiency. Rapid transformation can cause temporary disruption of hospital workflows and staff as processes are adapted to the new digital workflows. The aim of this paper is to outline various types of digital disruption and some strategies for effective management. A large tertiary university hospital recently underwent a rapid, successful roll-out of an integrated electronic medical record (EMR). We observed this transformation and propose several digital disruption "syndromes" to assist with understanding and management during digital transformation: digital deceleration, digital transparency, digital hypervigilance, data discordance, digital churn and post-digital 'depression'. These 'syndromes' are defined and discussed in detail. Successful management of this temporary digital disruption is important to ensure a successful transition to a digital platform.


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