Information technologies (ITs) represent an important lever for improving performance in health care systems. In recent years, most industrialized countries have made substantial investments in this area. Nevertheless, the sad truth is that far too many of these IT projects have failed.
The primary goals of this study were to explore the notion of mindfulness proposed by E. B. Swanson and N. C. Ramiller (2004) and to assess the extent to which, and how, innovating mindfully influences health IT project success.
Two in-depth case studies were conducted in comparable health care organizations that adopted the same clinical information system. Observation, semistructured interviews, informal discussions, and documentation were the primary data collection methods. Data analyses were performed following recognized guidelines.
Throughout the unfolding of the two projects, the actions and decisions of key stakeholders reflected different levels of mindfulness. The cross-case comparison was particularly relevant given that project circumstances led to contrasting outcomes.
Taking action and making decisions in light of the particular context of each particular health IT project, that is, innovating mindfully, favor innovation acceptance and positive outcomes, whereas acting and deciding following fads, fashion, or best practices without paying attention to the specifics of the project context, that is, innovating mindlessly, increase the risk of human resistance and limited added value.