This paper is about the enduring challenge of establishing a hospital discharge process that will supply the right medicines to patients as they leave hospital to use when they return home. The paper is written in a ‘documentary genre’, chosen to show rather than tell. We want to show how sociotechnical this quotidian task is. More broadly, this gives insight on how 21st century healthcare continues to present fundamental sociotechnical challenges, how we slowly chip away at these, and reconfigure in the context of systems use and as digital technologies become more deeply embedded in contexts of care. We hope to show what sociotechnical means in everyday practice, how healthcare work is ‘peo-ple heavy’ and how it spills out of its digital confines into different artefacts, physical places and timelines. Layers of digital innovation enter into and sediment in organizations, and reshape infrastructures, posing questions about the limits of sociotechnical ideas in the face of real life. The paper is based on three ethnographic studies conducted in England (UK) over six years.
Lichtner, Valentina; Cornford, Tony; and Klecun, Ela, (2017). "‘IT’S PEOPLE HEAVY’: A SOCIOTECHNICAL VIEW OF HOSPITAL DISCHARGE". In Proceedings of the 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Guimarães, Portugal, June 5-10, 2017 (pp. -). ISBN 978-989-20-7655-3 Research Papers.