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Harold Thimbleby




The Best Way to Improve Healthcare is to Improve Computers
Harold Thimbleby
Swansea University
April 23, 2015

Craig Shue




Managing User-Level Compromises in Enterprise Network
Craig Shue
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
March 31, 2015



Oct news 2015


ISTS Information Pamphlet



Institute for Security, Technology, and Society
Dartmouth College
6211 Sudikoff Laboratory
Hanover, NH 03755 USA

Social Informatics of IT in Healthcare
Thread 4

t4 slide

Concerns about security and privacy are among the key barriers to the adoption and use of IT in healthcare. At the same time, IT not adequately designed for the clinical or healthcare context of its users creates security and privacy risks. Ensuring the security and privacy of IT in the delivery of healthcare requires recognizing the complex social context in which technology is used – a social context that includes patient, clinical, and organizational interests, as well as those of other “stakeholders” such as policy makers and insurers. While the security and privacy of healthcare information is assumed necessary by all stakeholders, the definition and practice of “secure” and “private” varies across stakeholders.

We seek to examine how both communities of practice and organizational factors influence: (a) perceptions of privacy and security of health information, and (b) IT practices for the exchange of three types of health information (laboratory test results, radiological test results, physician notes), and (c) how perceptions and practices vary across healthcare stakeholders. In addition, we will study provider morale and patient satisfaction because these outcomes are important to hospital leadership.


The team has conducted 70+ interviews with clinicians and patients and has published the following papers:

Education and Outreach

The Thread 4 team has led a series of health policy faculty lunch discussions and seminars for graduate students.  They include:

  • Two Doctoral Seminar Modules on Electronic Medical Records.
    • Rhetoric and Reality about the Impact of Implementing Electronic Medical Records: on Quality (Session 1: October 30th)
    • Rhetoric and Reality about the Impact of Implementing Electronic Medical Records: on Cost (Session 2: November 3rd)
  • A three-session seminar entitled "Electronic Medical Records: Balancing the Needs for Access and Concerns for Privacy” (December 15-17, 2009)
  • A seminar on the “State of the Art Authentication in Healthcare” (May 25, 2010)
  • Two Doctoral Seminar Modules on Electronic Medical Records (May 27, 2010 & June 3, 2010)



Thread 4 is led by Associate Professor Denise Anthony (Sociology).  Team members also include Postdoctoral Researcher Tim Stablein and Senior Researcher Ann Flood.

Last Updated: 12/18/14