3.16 Danholt, P., K. Bødker, M. Hertzum and J. Simonsen (2004). Healthcare IT and Patient Empowerment: The Case of Diabetes Treatment. In A. Clement, F. Cindio, A. Oostveen, and P. Besselaar (Eds.) Proceedings of the eighth Participatory Design Conference 2004, Vol. II (PDC 2004), Artful Integration: Interweaving Media, Materials and Practices, July 27-31, 2004 Toronto, Canada, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility - CPSR, Palo Alto, CA 94302-0717, pp. 80-83.


This short paper outlines a recently initiated research project that concerns healthcare information systems and patient empowerment. Drawing on various theoretical backgrounds, Participatory Design (PD), Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), and Science Technology Studies (STS), we address the question of designing IT support for communication and coordination among the heterogeneous network of actors involved in contemporary healthcare work. The paper reports work in progress from a diabetes outpatient clinic at a large Danish hospital. The treatment of type II diabetes at the clinic is characterized by team treatment, a diabetes school, standard treatment plans, and an electronic patient record system. By studying work at the clinic as well as the patients’ ‘work’ with their disease, we aim to come to grips with the complexity of treating type II diabetes and with the possibilities for and barriers toward enabling patients to take active part in their treatment.