Aim Of Health Informatics

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Aim Of Health Informatics

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Aim Of Health Informatics

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1.Identify Different approaches (paradigms) in Health Informatics Research and Evaluation.2.Note the Questions raised and the Methodology used within Each Paradigm 3.Discuss what Insights each Paradigm offers (and doesn’t offer) to your Workplace Issues.

Research in the field of health informatics aims to promote the basic understanding of the application of informatics and advance knowledge and application systems in the domain of healthcare (Nelson and Staggers 2017). The areas that are given attention for research purpose are design, development, implementation, and evaluation of information systems that can be suitably applied in healthcare fields. The Scientific method for research deals with the methods and approaches applied for drawing logical conclusion pertaining to the research question. Health Informatics draws upon different methods for the purpose of scientific research (Nelson and Staggers 2017). The present discussion paper aims to explore the different paradigms, interpretive, critical, positivist, used in health informatics research and evaluation based on the workplace issue identified previously. The paper highlights the questions raised and the methodology used within each of the paradigms. The insights every paradigm offers to the the workplace issues are also presented in the paper.
1.Different approaches in health informatics research and evaluation
The commonly used paradigms for the purpose of research in the field of health informatics are a positivistic, interpretive and critical theory. Positivistic paradigm is a philosophical approach adhered to for determining the validity of knowledge as derived from experimental evidence. Aspects of knowledge derived from non-scientific means are often considered within this paradigm. The aim of the positivist paradigm is to have a better understanding of the social institutions through dependence on observable and known facts and information. While this paves the way for gaining better insights into how different aspects of the society function, not much credence is given to the examination of social mechanisms that are not able to be proved or observed through a collection of information (Kelmen 2007). Positivism is based on the ontology of being a realist, and such an approach enables one to generate approximate ‘reality’ in a detailed generalisation (Bernard and Bernard 2012). Positivism can be applied to the issues  arising while integrating systems into a workplace. Integrating systems into a workplace will frequently require changes to routines, workflow, work habits, roles and relationships within all members in the health care. The sociotechnical factors are often unknown in this context. With the help of positivism paradigm one can posit a reality different  from the knowledge regarding the sociotechnical factors that facilitate changes in a workplace. This paradigm would provide an objective reality against which one is able to have a comparison of their claims and ascertain the truth (Baskerville and Wood-Harper 2016).  
Interpretive paradigm is rooted in the concept of ‘to understand’. Such a paradigm forms to be an alternative to the positivist paradigm that focuses on the understanding of subjective experience in contrast to a rigid adherence to observation and facts. Put in a simple manner, since there is a high chance of the existence of several valid viewpoints, it is not always possible that facts alone are enough to throw light on a certain aspect (Aliyu et al. 2014). Interpretive paradigm aims to identify the meanings behind actions in any context through considering the unique point of view of the subject. It is believed that the knowledge is relative to the one who is observing. Based on such an approach the perceived facts inherent to the positivist observational method can possibly take an entirely dissimilar meaning from the different perspectives of different individuals. The findings of the research in such a a case are the result of the interaction between the subject and the Inquirer (Tuohy et al. 2013). The interpretive paradigm would be suitable for understanding the concepts of usability of the new information systems. This paradigm would posit that the value of researchers are inherent in all phases of research process. The naturalistic methods of observation and interviewing would help to highlight the factors that would act as barriers and facilitators of using the new information systems (Baskerville and Wood-Harper 2016).
 Critical paradigm has the aim of taking a neutral approach to any study for uncovering truths that are still to be uncovered. A critical approach is a means of naturally suspecting and scrutinising findings and claims made in relation to the research topic and applies a specified critical thought for exposing any existing flaws in the claims and information that invalidate them. The belief is that reality is present ‘out there’ and there is no scope for relativeness (Babbie 2015). Critical paradigm would be useful for throwing light on privacy and security aspects of the information systems. This would be significant to understand and challenge the issues arising in carrying out a proper provision for security and privacy for information system. Observations would be combined with interviews for approaching foster conversation and thereby reflect on the process (Baskerville and Wood-Harper 2016).
Research in the field of healthcare informatics would require a deep understanding of the three mentioned paradigms from a practical perspective. It is also necessary to understand the differences existing between the three (Kelman 2007). Research through a positivism paradigm might conclude that their unique perspectives have a major bearing on the claims they make even in the presence of scientific observation. Interpretive paradigm would correct the conflict of interest through the subjective nature of the behaviour. Critical paradigm on the other hand would always have the tendency to question the arising conclusions for improving the knowledge and eliminating any incorrect claims (Kelman 2007).
2.Questions raised and the methodology used in each paradigm
After discussing the major aspects of the three research paradigms, it would be desirable to throw light on the methodologies applied within each paradigm and the questions raised by each paradigm. The methodology applied in positivism is experimental and manipulative (Bernard and Bernard 2012). The approach is simple and initiates with a hypothesis regarding how theory can be applied to practice. The next step is to gather data and test the hypothesis against the collected data. This would include randomisedcontrolled trials. The research question being addressed is tested against the data collected from the experiment under suitably controlled environment. The methodology applied in interpretivism is hermeneutic or dialectic. Dialectic is a reflection of the dialogue imagined in the subjective approach while Hermeneutics considers the study of how interpretive inquiry is done (Bernard and Bernard 2012). Interpretive theory is tested against human experience in this paradigm. Dialectic methodology can be described as a science that aims to have an interpretative understanding of social conduct. It strives to provide an explanation for the causes and effects of a certain phenomena. Critical paradigm considers transformative methodology. The aim is to critique the status quo and analyse the actions. The transformation occurs by making societal participants aware of the surroundings in which they live (Bernard and Bernard 2012).
The three paradigms being discussed rises a number of questions that are to be discussed in here. With regards to positivism, one can state that this paradigm has the issue of separation of the researcher from what is being researched. One can raise a question that whether a researcher can observe without permitting the interference of interests and values. Whether the results of the studies are generalised or not is the question raised by interpretivism paradigm. Critical paradigm argues that research is not value free and this is the issue arising within this particular paradigm (Baskerville and Wood-Harper 2016).
3.Insights each paradigm does and does not offer to the workplace issues
The issues identified at the workplace pertaining to health informatics are security and privacy, integration of systems into the workplace and usability. The issue of privacy and security is reflected by the critical paradigm. Critical theory is the approach taken for analysing the sensitive issue like security. Critical research has the ability to give insight into the conceptual understandings of managerial implications of security and privacy systems (Eriksson and Kovalainen 2015). The approach attempts to criticise why security and privacy are not being maintained in a certain context. Issues pertaining to the integration of systems in a workplace requires quantitative measurement and positivism paradigm helps in predicting relationships between the different variables in this case. It aims to directly observe the reasons for the changes in work habits, workflow and relationships and roles of the members of the setting (Eriksson and Kovalainen 2015). Usability is a major issue for information systems since the arising challenges are to learn the application of the advanced systems and benefit of implementation of the system. Interpretivism paradigm aims to uphold a qualitative research that highlight the subject matter and acknowledge the perspectives of the research participants in relation to how they perceive the usability of the implemented information systems. Researchers can interpret the possible variables regarding the benefits and disadvantages of the health information systems in a suitable manner (Eriksson and Kovalainen 2015).
From the discussion, it can be concluded that the three different research paradigms, interpretive, critical, positivist, have their share of advantages and drawbacks when applied to research in different contexts. Health informatics is an area that has drawn the attention of researchers in order to explore and identify some of the potential areas that need further development. Suitable application of the research paradigms promises to achieve this mission successfully.
Aliyu, A.A., Bello, M.U., Kasim, R. and Martin, D., 2014. Positivist and Non-Positivist Paradigm in Social Science Research: Conflicting Paradigms or Perfect Partners?. Journal of Management and Sustainability, 4(3), p.79.
Babbie, E.R., 2015. The practice of social research. Nelson Education.
Baskerville, R.L. and Wood-Harper, A.T., 2016. A critical perspective on action research as a method for information systems research. In Enacting Research Methods in Information Systems: Volume 2 (pp. 169-190). Springer International Publishing.
Bernard, H.R. and Bernard, H.R., 2012. Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Sage.
Eriksson, P. and Kovalainen, A., 2015. Qualitative Methods in Business Research: A Practical Guide to Social Research. Sage.
Kelman, C., 2007. Health Informatics: A Socio-Technical Perspective. Health Sociology Review, 16(3-4), pp.358-360.
Nelson, R. and Staggers, N., 2017. Health informatics: An interprofessional approach. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Tuohy, D., Cooney, A., Dowling, M., Murphy, K. and Sixsmith, J., 2013. An overview of interpretive phenomenology as a research methodology. Nurse Researcher, 20(6), pp.17-20.

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