Healthcare service innovation based on information technology: The role of social values alignment

Josianne Marsan, Luc Audebrand, Anne-Marie Croteau, Gabrielle Magnin


The electronic personal health record (ePHR) is an information technology (IT) de- signed for patients’ empowerment in health self-management. Its actual implementation remains less than expected due to two main barriers that must be addressed by ePHRs’ providers: lack of trust in providers with regards to data privacy and lack of flexibility of the tool. In this study, we suggest that to potentially overcome these two challenges, ePHRs could be provided by health cooperatives (co-ops) in collaboration with open source devel- opment communities that share similar values. Based on the concept of social alignment that focuses on values, we explore the potential social bi-alignments between the values underlying the mission of health co-ops and the purpose of ePHRs, and between the founda- tional values of health co-ops and open source development communities. We also explore the effect of such potential social values alignments on health co-ops’ interest in innovat- ing with an ePHR-based service. To achieve our research objectives, 17 interviews were conducted in health co-ops in Quebec, a province of Canada where the network of health co-ops is particularly active. Our findings show that the concept of social values alignment is useful in the context of ePHR-based service innovation in health co-ops. However, our data analysis shows that social values alignment is not sufficient for healthcare service innovation to happen. Indeed, our findings lead us toward the concept of organizational readiness to better understand what is required to increase the likelihood of ePHR-based service innovation in health co-ops. This study culminates with the undertaking of theo- retical development where we propose a conceptual model of IT-based service innovation in healthcare organizations by expanding on our findings and on insights from the liter- ature. 


Social values alignment, Organizational readiness, Healthcare service in- novation, Electronic personal health record (ePHR), Open source community.

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