Video Research in Health: Visibilising the Effects of Computerising Clinical Care

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Journal Article
Qualitative Research Journal, 2006, 6 (2), pp. 15 - 30
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This paper discusses video ethnography as part of a multimethod study of the introduction of information technology to streamline pathology test order entry in hospitals and its effect on the work of pathology laboratory scientists. The paper opens with an overview of video research in health care settings. After acknowledging the limitations inherent in video data, the paper offers a description of how video footage served to enhance insight in three ways. First, the footage enhanced the researchers' own appreciation of the significance of particular facets of the data, which led them to reassess information collected through interviewing, focus groups and research field notes. Second, the footage enhanced the pathology laboratory scientists' appreciation of the problems they experienced when incorporating the new information technology into their daily work practice, by enabling them to articulate these problems to outside researchers. Third, by being watched (by the video camera) and by watching themselves perform their work they were enabled to redesign their practices. The paper suggests that, as a result of interactively performing their work in front of the camera, the scientists came to apprehend their practices 'from under a different aspect'. The paper concludes that by allowing video ethnography as a research method to remain underdefined and emergent, the modality of engagement and uptake shown by participants in the video research can be considered as a further enriching aspect of video ethnography as a research process. © RMIT Publishing 2007.
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