Technological iatrogenesis: The manifestation of inadequate organizational planning and the integration of health information technology

Patrick Albert Palmieri, Lori T. Peterson, Luciano Bedoya Corazzo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The Institute of Medicine (IOM) views Health Information Technology (HIT) as an essential organizational prerequisite for the delivery of safe, reliable, and cost-effective health services. However, HIT presents the proverbial double-edged sword in generating solutions to improve system performance while facilitating the genesis of novel iatrogenic problems. Incongruent organizational processes give rise to technological iatrogenesis or the unintended consequences to system integrity and the resulting organizational outcomes potentiated by incongruent organizational-technological interfaces. HIT is a disruptive innovation for health services organizations but remains an overlooked organizational development (OD) concern. Recognizing the technology-organizational misalignments that result from HIT adoption is important for leaders seeking to eliminate sources of system instability. The Health Information Technology Iatrogenesis Model (HITIM) provides leaders with a conceptual framework from which to consider HIT as an instrument for organizational development.Complexity and Diffusion of Innovation theories support the framework that suggests each HIT adoption functions as a technological change agent. As such, leaders need to provide operational oversight to managers undertaking system change via HIT implementation. Traditional risk management tools, such as Failure Mode Effect Analysis and Root Cause Analysis, provide proactive pre- and post-implementation appraisals to verify system stability and to enhance system reliability. Reconsidering the use of these tools within the context of a new framework offers leaders guidance when adopting HIT to achieve performance improvement and better outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrganization Development in Healthcare
Subtitle of host publicationConversations on Research and Strategies
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9780857247094
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011

Publication series

NameAdvances in Health Care Management
ISSN (Print)1474-8231


  • Change management
  • Complexity theory
  • Diffusion of innovation theory
  • Error
  • Failure mode effect analysis
  • Health information technology
  • Iatrogenesis
  • Organizational development
  • Patient safety
  • Planning
  • Risk management
  • Root cause analysis


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