Departments: From the Editor
Two years ago, the Editorial Board of Health Care Management Review (HCMR) discussed and recommended the use of a special issue to address topics of particular relevance and interest to HCMR readers. It has been a very long time, if ever, since HCMR has extended this type of invitation to researchers and its readers. At last, we have guest editors lined up and are ready to proceed.
This issue of HCMR presents a Call for Papers for a special issue of HCMR. As a new and infrequent feature of HCMR, a special issue will not result in a supplemental issue of the journal, at least not in the foreseeable future. The special issue will be structured as a set of articles comprising at least half of an issue of HCMR.
To warrant a special issue, the topic must meet a set of criteria. First and foremost, the topic of a special issue must have an element of urgency to the need for information in the form of research, theory, or evidence upon which to make administrative practice decisions. This is clearly the case with the health information technology. As explained in the Call for Papers, the technology landscape of health care organizations has been rapidly evolving, giving urgency to the need to make evidence-based, informed decisions.
Urgency is not the only criteria for a special issue. The topic must be of broad interest to HCMR readers who are both academics and practitioners. Broad interest means that the topic has a breadth of implications for or is integral to the practice of health care administration and management. Undoubtedly, health information technology and health information systems affect a wide range of aspects of health administration, giving it broad relevance to HCMR readers. In addition, broad interest can be achieved through development or advancement of theory applicable beyond the topic at hand. In the absence of existing research, a well-reasoned theory can be a valuable tool for practice and subsequent research.
For a topic to merit a Call for Paper, naturally sufficient research or theoretical bases must exist to potentially provide some "answers" or lead to useful insights. The sufficient research criteria will preclude a focus on novel or experimental topics but does include topics with rapid growth of recent research. The research can be from diverse methodological, theoretical, or ideological perspectives as well as being rigorous and interesting. Incorporating diverse perspectives across the research enriches both the conversation and the knowledge generation.
Ultimately, the articles selected for inclusion in a special topic must fill an existing gap in knowledge needed for the best possible practice. The Call for Papers, as published in this issue, is intended to be the first of future calls to fill such a gap.
L. Michele Issel, PhD, RN