Developing Virtual Healthcare Systems in Complex Multi‑Agency Service Settings: the OLDES Project pp163-170
Recent developments in internet and digital technologies offer increasing possibilities for transforming the delivery of care by virtual means. However, the care of older people presents challenges and issues at many levels. The realities of the world of older people and of the multiple institutions and agencies that provide care services for them have to be better understood if virtual services are to be configured appropriately. This paper presents the results of an action research exploration of the complexity of needs found in care environments and the difficulties of configuring services when delivered in multi‑agency settings (i.e. jointly across organizational, professional and occupational boundaries). The deployment of a computer‑based graphical demonstrator is illustrated as one means through which, visualizations of different socio‑technical scenarios can be generated. We suggest that this tool can support processes of shared sense making amongst care agencies and institutions. In so doing, it can provide the basis for facilitating more effective 'user' engagement with the design, development and implementation of virtual healthcare systems.
Public service transformation in the UK is being carried out in the name of the citizen and these changes — specifically those labelled as 'e‑Government' — bring with them the prospect of a significant shift in the nature of the relationship between government and its citizens. Of particular interest is the notion of the e‑Citizen, set against a contemporary public management backdrop featuring customer‑centric discoursesmetaphors, organisational transformation and ICT‑intensive 'private‑sector' business solutions. This paper focuses on a pilot study concerned with exploring the nature and role of socio‑technical and discursive factors which may be implicated in the 'shaping' of the e‑Citizen around the introduction of 'customer relationship management' (CRM) systems at a local government level. The research design draws on 'social shaping of technology' approaches and emphasises the significance of discursive events in these shaping processes. Preliminary findings suggest that citizen‑users of the new face to face access channel within local e‑government are being configured primarily as 'customers' which we suggest has significant implications for the traditional relationship between individuals and the institutions of government.