Building National Infrastructures for Patient-Centred Digital Services

Anne Thorseng, Tina Blegind Jensen

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    Patient-centred digital services are increasingly gaining impact in the healthcare sector. The premise is that patients will be better equipped for taking care of their own health through instant access to relevant information and by enhanced electronic communication with healthcare providers. One initiative to provide such services to patients is the Danish national e-health portal,, which is at the forefront of governmental initiatives and which serves as a unified hub between the various participants in the healthcare sector. Studying the evolution of in light of information infrastructure theory, we highlight the enabling and constraining dynamics when designing and building a national infrastructure for patient-centred digital services. Furthermore, we discuss how such infrastructures can accommodate further development of services. The findings show that the Danish national e-health portal successfully managed to establish a solid foundation by means of providing direct usefulness and by building on existing information systems, routines, and governance structures in the healthcare sector. However, during this process, a number of unintended side effects appeared that have challenged the continuous development of the portal. We conclude that needs to strike a balance between generativity and control to accommodate further development of services.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationECIS 2015 Proceedings
    EditorsJörg Becker, Jan vom Brocke, Marco De Marco
    Number of pages15
    Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
    PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
    Publication date2015
    Article number180
    ISBN (Print)9783000502842
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventThe 23rd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2015 - Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster, Germany
    Duration: 26 May 201529 May 2015
    Conference number: 23


    ConferenceThe 23rd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2015
    LocationWestfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
    Internet address
    SeriesProceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems


    • Patient-centred digital services
    • National e-health portal
    • Design principles
    • Information Infrastructure

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