The radiation therapy (RT) department at the British Columbia Cancer Agency - Vancouver Island Centre (VIC) is responsible for delivering radiation treatments to cancer patients from Vancouver Island, which has a population base of approximately 750,000. The purpose of this analysis is to examine a process transformation project undertaken by a VIC clinical champion using a sociotechnical approach and identify factors that influenced the project outcome. Beginning in January 2009, a radiation oncologist at VIC initiated a project to transform the clinical process of generating prescriptions for radiation therapy. The project objective was to replace the paper-based process for radiation therapy (RT) prescriptions with an electronic process to achieve benefits such as increased legibility, accuracy, and accessibility of prescriptions. The electronic prescription (e-Rx) process was designed and developed by health informatics students from the University of Victoria, and the new process was trialed and implemented for approximately half of the new patients seen by the VIC RT department. This pilot implementation was brought to a halt two weeks later, due to concerns raised by the RT department. Using a sociotechnical approach, the authors identify several factors that negatively impacted the project's successful implementation: lack of leadership endorsement and organizational strategy, insufficient formal and informal organizational power of the clinical champion, underestimation of complexity, and inadequate management of the implementation process. Although these factors have been well documented in the literature for large-scale system implementation projects, understanding the way by which they influence smaller-scale process transformation projects in highly specialized clinical settings may help future project managers and coordinators to set such projects up for success.
IOS Press, Inc.
6751 Tepper Drive
Clifton, VA 20124
Tel.: +1 703 830 6300
Fax: +1 703 830 2300 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Corporate matters and books only) IOS Press c/o Accucoms US, Inc.
For North America Sales and Customer Service
West Point Commons
Lansdale PA 19446
Tel.: +1 866 855 8967
Fax: +1 215 660 5042 email@example.com