Information Infrastructures in healthcare and emergent data work occupations: The case of medical scribes and CDIS
European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET)
The development of information infrastructures in healthcare is often described in abstract terms as datafication, the conversion of qualitative aspects of life into quantified data, which makes the people and actual work involved invisible. To make visible the actors and the efforts implied in the term ‘datafication’, in this paper, we describe two emergent data work occupations in healthcare: Medical scribes and clinical documentation improvement specialists (CDIS). These cases provide a starting point for understanding the impacts of digitization of healthcare and the emergence of new kinds of work and new occupations that health organizations adapted to accommodate such impacts. Making data work visible is important in order for these occupations to be acknowledged. If data work remains invisible, healthcare organizations and researchers alike will have an incomplete understanding of how data is actually produced in practice, hindering the organizational design, human resources, and organizational learning that are essential for healthcare organizations to become competent producers and users of data.