Archive (2016–2006)

Prioritizing the Risk Factors Influencing the Success of Clinical Information System Projects - A Delphi Study in Canada

Journal: Methods of Information in Medicine
Subtitle: A journal stressing, for more than 50 years, the methodology and scientific fundamentals of organizing, representing and analyzing data, information and knowledge in biomedicine and health care
ISSN: 0026-1270
Issue: 2008 (Vol. 47): Issue 3 2008
Pages: 251-259

Prioritizing the Risk Factors Influencing the Success of Clinical Information System Projects - A Delphi Study in Canada

G. Paré1, C. Sicotte 2, M. Jaana 3, D. Girouard1

1Canada Research Chair in Information Technology in Health Care, HEC Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 2University of Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 3University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Risk Factors, Information technology, clinical information systems, Delphi, project success


Objective: The aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of the risk factors influencing the success of clinical information system projects. Methods: This study addresses this issue by first reviewing the extant literature on information technology project risks, and second conducting a Delphi survey among 21 experts highly involved in clinical information system projects in Québec, Canada, a region where government have invested heavily in health information technologies in recent years. Results: Twenty-three risk factors were identified. The absence of a project champion was the factor that experts felt most deserves their attention. Lack of commitment from upper management was ranked second. Our panel of experts also confirmed the importance of a variable that has been extensively studied in information systems, namely, perceived usefulness that ranked third. Respondents ranked project ambiguity fourth. The fifth-ranked risk was associated with poor alignment between the clinical information systems’ characteristics and the organization of clinical work. The large majority of risk factors associated with the technology itself were considered less important. This finding supports the idea that technology-associated factors rarely figure among the main reasons for a project failure. Conclusions: In addition to providing a comprehensive list of risk factors and their relative importance, the study presents a major contribution by unifying the literature on information systems and medical infor - matics. Our checklist provides a basis for further research that may help practitioners identify the effective countermeasures for mitigating risks associated with the implementation of clinical information systems.