Electronic information systems and social work: who are we designing for?

Gillingham, Philip (2014) Electronic information systems and social work: who are we designing for?. Practice: Social Work in Action, 26 5: 313-326. doi:10.1080/09503153.2014.958454

Author Gillingham, Philip
Title Electronic information systems and social work: who are we designing for?
Journal name Practice: Social Work in Action   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0950-3153
Publication date 2014-09-25
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09503153.2014.958454
Volume 26
Issue 5
Start page 313
End page 326
Total pages 14
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Abstract Historically, the reluctance of social workers to use digital technology has been noted, though this is changing as its use has become increasingly ubiquitous in both personal and professional life. The introduction of software to create case records and record service activity, generically known as electronic information systems (IS), has been particularly problematic, attracting criticism that it has undermined frontline social work practice. Initiatives to develop IS in order that they promote and support good practice are underway, and key dimensions of the design process are the aptitudes of the social workers and service users who will be engaging with IS. In this article, observations from an ethnographic programme of research that aims to redesign IS for the future and literature about technology usage are more generally drawn upon. Taking a lead from user-centred approaches to the design of technology, the characteristics, expectations and attitudes of both social workers and service users of the current and near future are explored in relation to their use of digital technology. Particular attention is paid to the consequences of this analysis for participatory approaches to IS design, which aim to include the perspectives of social workers and service users.
Keyword Electronic information system
Information system design
Participatory design
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 25 September 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Created: Wed, 01 Oct 2014, 00:40:11 EST by Philip Gillingham on behalf of School of Social Work and Human Services