I am a PhD student within the iCOMMS Research Team.
The Implications of a Mobile Application Implementation for Professional Work Practice
This research is an exploratory study of mHealth application implementation in existing public health facilities. The empirical case under study is the rollout of the MomConnect mHealth application in public clinics in South Africa. Many small-scale mHealth projects have been set up, but there is very little experience with the large-scale implementation of mobile applications in existing health systems. One of the key uncertainties is how the mobile application will be incorporated into existing daily clinic practices. Large-scale computer-based information systems implementation in healthcare settings has met with mixed results worldwide, despite massive investments. The MomConnect training documentation sets out several possible workflows, based on initial experiences at pilot sites. Pilot sites are however not reliable indicators of the issues large-scale rollouts may face. This exploratory study aims to understand the dynamics of implementation at a few selected sites in some depth, so that the types of issues that help or hinder the effective rollout of MomConnect at local level may be better understood. A qualitative methodology, based on open-ended interviews and periods of direct observation, is therefore being used. This is being complemented with a grounded theory methodology to identify emerging themes.
The research addresses the following questions:
How do the actual practices being followed at the clinics compare to the workflows suggested in the MomConnect training material?
What are the key issues driving the observed work practices, based on the evidence collected?
Which features of MomConnect are proving to be useful, and which features are giving rise to problems in day-to-day use?
How might the usefulness of the application be improved?
What benefits are being realised in the use of MomConnect?
Are there unanticipated benefits and problems? Who is not benefiting?
Wolff-Piggott, B., & Rivett, U. (2016, June). An activity theory approach to affordance actualisation in mHealth: The case of MomConnect. In Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems. Istanbul: AIS.
Wolff-Piggott, B., Coleman, J., & Rivett, U. (2017). The clinic-level perspective on mHealth implementation: a South African case study. Information Technology for Development, 1-22.
iCOMMS Research Team
Department of Information Systems
School of IT
University of Cape Town
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