Health Innovation Design and Evaluation (HeIDE)

In the last decade, the Canadian government has invested billions of dollars in development of a Canadian health information infrastructure. Health information technology goals are varied but they usually include faster, more efficient delivery of care based on shared information through electronic health records. However, despite the investment to develop an information technology infrastructure, the potential gains for the health system have been slow to materialize. Dr. Ellen Balka’s research focuses on the challenges associated with realizing Canada’s vision of an information technology-rich health care sector. She is working with stakeholders in actual health care settings, including technology developers, health system decision makers and health care providers, to assess design shortcomings, usability, implementation challenges, and issues related to governance of information technology within organizations. Dr. Balka’s studies will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of how complex it is to introduce new information-based technologies into the health sector, and will lead to development of strategies that improve the rate of success for these initiatives within the health system. This will ensure that the potential benefits of these systems and technologies (administrative efficiencies, improved patient care and development of health data for research purposes) can be achieved.