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When protocols fail: technical evaluation, biomedical knowledge, and the social production of 'facts' about a telemedicine clinic

May, Carl and Ellis, Nicola T. (2001) When protocols fail: technical evaluation, biomedical knowledge, and the social production of 'facts' about a telemedicine clinic Social Science & Medicine, 53, (8), pp. 989-1002. (doi:10.1016/S0277-9536(00)00394-4).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Telecommunications systems seem to offer health care providers, professionals and patients a plethora of opportunities to respond to social and geographical inequalities in health care provision, and a new field of health care endeavor has emerged — ‘telemedicine’. This paper presents results from a three year ethnographic study of the development and implementation of telemedicine systems in a British region. We explore how attempts to put into service one ‘telemedicine’ system failed to get beyond the draft of a written protocol. Our analysis focuses on the contests between clinicians, technical experts and external evaluators over what kinds of knowledge and practice count in developing a protocol and evaluating a clinical intervention. We show how the introduction and implementation of ‘hard’ technologies (systems hardware) can be undermined in practice by ‘soft’ technologies (the practices through which evaluative knowledge is produced).

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More information

Published date: October 2001
Keywords: telemedicine, social construction, medical knowledge, evaluation, uk

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 163429
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/163429
ISSN: 0277-9536
PURE UUID: 5b5648b7-7082-431a-b685-912fe5854cd9
ORCID for Carl May: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0451-2690

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Sep 2010 08:55
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:31

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Contributors

Author: Carl May ORCID iD
Author: Nicola T. Ellis

University divisions

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