Adapting to Technological Change - Employees' Experiences on the Uptake of Automated Dispensing Cabinets in Kuopio University Hospital
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CitationSarnola, Kati. Kurttila, Minna. Naaranlahti, Toivo. Saano, Susanna. Kantanen, Helena. (2019). Adapting to Technological Change - Employees' Experiences on the Uptake of Automated Dispensing Cabinets in Kuopio University Hospital. Dosis, 35 (4) , 338-352. -.
Introduction: As a part of automation technology change in hospitals, one major change that has revolutionized the practice of hospital medicine supply has been the introduction of automated dispensing cabinets in recent decades. Automated dispensing cabinets are computer-driven dispensing systems designed to prevent medical errors, promote better patient care and safety, and increase the efficacy of storage management. From the employee perspective, cabinets are known to improve workflow and increase work efficiency; however, research on the healthcare professionals’ perceptions of the change process in the uptake of automated dispensing cabinets is lacking.
Aims: The aim of this study was to explore employees’ experiences and positive and negative factors that have affected employees’ ability to adapt to the uptake of automated dispensing cabinets.
Material and methods: An electronic questionnaire for hospital personnel (n=359) was distributed in Kuopio University Hospital in August 2016. The questionnaire took the form of narratives. The data was analyzed with content analysis and quantification.
Results: Forty employees responded the questionnaire. The most common positive factors were that change was considered a logical, technological continuum (n=14) and that the change had streamlined and facilitated work (n=13). The most common negative factors were that work had decelerated due to the change (n=22) and that employees were unable to affect the change (n=10).
Conclusions: Positive factors that enhanced employees’ ability to adapt were most often work performance and efficiency-related factors, while negative factors that diminished employees’ ability to adapt were typically work performance and efficiency-related and individual-related factors. This study concludes that it is crucial that change benefits practical work and that empowering teams and managers and engaging the organizational culture are a part of everyday work, which then naturally translates to change management.