Patient-centric digital infrastructure can potentially enhance the efficiency of healthcare systems. However, even in developed nations, evidence suggests low adoption rates for such infrastructure and lack of support from clinicians is considered as one of the most critical hindering factors. In this study, we examine physicians' perceptions of the proposed large-scale information technology initiative in India that aims to transform the health sector and provide universal health coverage to all residents of India. We employed the information ecology lens to understand the broader changes in the healthcare system that could result from the initiative. We use focus group discussion and in-depth interviews to comprehend the perceptions of doctors about the initiative. Drawing upon Foucault’s conceptualization of power, we find that physicians, the key stakeholders in this initiative, are skeptical about the changes in the locus of power in the new ecosystem. Specifically, they perceive that knowledge power has shifted from a historical “expert knowledge power” to power related to “data management.” The physicians believe that changes are expected to manifest through monitoring, controlling, and managing the data rather than providing knowledge-based services. We present recommendations to engage physicians' perspectives in implementing large-scale patient-centric digital infrastructure.
power dynamics, change management, information ecology, India, Aadhaar, large scale health IT project, interpretive research
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Recommended APA Citation
Chandwani, R., Edacherian, S., & Sud, M. (2023). National Digital Infrastructure and India’s Healthcare Sector: Physician’s Perspectives. The Qualitative Report, 28(2), 360-386. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2023.4964