EVAL – Assessment of Health Information Systems


  • Philip Scott, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK


  • Kathrin Cresswell, University of Edinburgh, UK

Main Objectives:

Information and communications technologies (ICTs) are being used increasingly in health care. It is evident that the use of modern ICT offers tremendous opportunities to reduce clinical errors, to support health care professionals, and to increase the efficiency of care. However, there are also hazards associated with such technologies. Therefore, rigorous, generalizable evaluations of ICT applications in health care are absolutely necessary. Based on this, the aims of the working group are:

  • to foster transdisciplinary dialogues between experts from informatics, medical informatics, economics, health care, health services research, clinical epidemiology, biometry, psychology, sociology, ethnography, organizational development, operations research and other evaluation fields, on a European level, and to encourage exchange on methodological issues between researchers from different traditions;
  • to offer an opportunity to share knowledge with the aim of obtaining profitable cross-fertilization among different fields of expertise and especially between quantitative and qualitative research;
  • to promote a combined research agenda to develop frameworks and toolkits for information systems evaluation, offering guidelines for an adequate combination of evaluation methods and tools;
  • to discuss and clarify the networking needs for long-term evaluation research in medical informatics, and to promote combined research proposals at a European level.

Relevant Activities 2018:

  • The working group published a position paper entitled “The safe and effective use of shared data underpinned by Stakeholder Engagement and Evaluation Practice” in the IMIA Yearbook of Medical Informatics 2018.
  • The working group continued its fruitful cooperation with the IMIA Working Group on Technology Assessment and Quality Development. Among others, regular skype meetings of the WGs core group were organized.
  • Members of the working group were involved in workshops and presentations at Medical Informatics Europe 2018 (MIE 2018) in Gothenburg.
  • All members of the working group have published on topics related to health IT evaluation, here are a few examples:
    • Haux R, Ammenwerth E, Koch S, Lehmann CU, Park HA, Saranto K, Wong CP. A Brief Survey on Six Basic and Reduced eHealth Indicators in Seven Countries in 2017. Appl Clin Inform. 2018 Jul;9(3):704-713
    • de Lusignan, S., Liyanage, H., & Scott, P. (2018). Computerised medical record systems that guide and protect–reflections on the Bawa-Garba case. Journal of innovation in health informatics, 25(1), 058-059.
    • Joukes E, de Keizer NF, de Bruijne MC, Abu-Hanna A, Cornet R. Impact of Electronic versus Paper-Based Recording before EHR Implementation on Health Care Professionals’ Perceptions of EHR Use, Data Quality, and Data Reuse. Appl Clin Inform. 2019 Mar;10(2):199-209. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1681054. Epub 2019 Mar 20.
    • Nykänen P, Implementation and evaluation of ehealth ecosystems in two-sided markets. In: Vimarlund V (ed.), eHealth two-sided markets, implementation and business models. Elsevier Academic Press, 2017, 125-142
    • Scott, P. J., Dunscombe, R., Evans, D., Mukherjee, M., & Wyatt, J. C. (2018). Learning health systems need to bridge the ‘two cultures’ of clinical informatics and data science. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics, 25(2), 126-131.

Activities planned for 2019:

  • Group members are finalizing an edited book on health informatics theories, working title: Applied interdisciplinary theory in health informatics: a knowledge base for practitioners, editors: Dr Philip Scott, Prof Nicolette de Keizer, Prof Andrew Georgiou. The book will be launched at Medinfo 2019 in Lyon.
  • The WG just published, together with the IMIA WG, the following position: Magrabi F, Ammenwerth E, McNair JB, De Keizer NF, Hyppönen H, Nykänen P, Rigby M, Scott PJ, Vehko T, Wong ZS, Georgiou A. Artificial Intelligence in Clinical Decision Support: Challenges for Evaluating AI and Practical Implications. Yearb Med Inform. 2019 Apr 25. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1677903
  • The WG participates, together with the IMIA WG, in the public consultation on the WHO Draft Global Health Strategy on Digital Health
  • The WG plans a submission to the new journal Lancet Digital Health, together with the IMIA WG.
  • The WG will have a working group meeting at Medinfo 2019, Lyon, together with the IMIA WG.
  • The WG will organize a panel session “Celebrating the Value of Applied Theory in Health Informatics: How Can We Broaden Appreciation and Further Advance the Field“ during Medinfo 2019 in Lyon.
  • Three WG members contribute as Editorial Board Members to a special issue of the International Journal of Medical Informatics on Evaluation of IT in Primary Care.

Relevant WG Publications 2018:

  • Coiera E, Ammenwerth E, Georgiou A, Magrabi F. Does health informatics have a replication crisis? Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Volume 25, Issue 8, 1 August 2018, Pages 963–968.
  • Georgiou A, Magrabi F, Hypponen H, Wong ZS, Nykänen P, Scott PJ, Ammenwerth E, Rigby M. The Safe and Effective Use of Shared Data Underpinned by Stakeholder Engagement and Evaluation Practice. A Position Paper from the IMIA Technology Assessment & Quality Development in Health Informatics Working Group. Yearbook of medical informatics. 2018;26(1):59-67

  If you want to become a member of the EVAL Working Group, please contact with the Chair of the Working Group