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Constructing Consumers in Healthcare: A Comparative Study of National Public Portals in Scandinavia and the UK

Paper i proceeding
Författare Agneta Ranerup
Publicerad i ECIS 2008
Volym Galway, Irland, June 9-11 2008
Publiceringsår 2008
Publicerad vid Institutionen för tillämpad informationsteknologi (GU)
Språk en
Ämneskategorier Medieteknik, Övrig annan samhällsvetenskap

Sammanfattning

The patients of today are more often than previously said to act as consumers towards healthcare. However, the definition of the concept of consumer is often unclear and not based on theory. The present paper applies a theoretical framework that emphasizes the role of technological devices for the construction of calculating consumers as outlined by Michel Callon. The focus is on to what extent technological devices on national public healthcare portals in the UK and in three Scandinavian countries equip patients to act as consumers towards healthcare. It is concluded that Norway’s technological devices to some extent and the UK and Danish devices to a greater extent equip patients to act as consumers. Sweden’s technological repertoire when it comes to public national healthcare portals is to date much more limited. The Danish and UK devices showing quality indicators stand out as cutting edge facilities. The UK device Choose and Book offering connections between selected hospitals and a device for booking appointments is a further example. The applied theoretical perspective enhances the understanding of fundamental design issues related to the role of technology for the individual in forming his or her relationship towards healthcare.

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