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Ambidextrous Policy: cross-country comparison of policies for the digitalization of healthcare

Conference paper
Authors Michael Kizito
Johan Magnusson
Published in IFIP EGOV-CeDEM-ePart 2020 Conference proceedings
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Keywords Policy, digital healthcare, ambidexterity
Subject categories Informatics and systems science, Public Administration Studies


Healthcare constitutes a fundamental challenge in the ongoing digitalization of society, in part due to its complex, integrative and critical nature. With healthcare regulated through national policies, we posit that the said policies need to afford a parallel facilitation of exploitation and exploration, i.e. being ambidextrous. This study explores how healthcare policies in Sweden and Uganda are positioned in terms of ambidextrous balance. Through a content analysis of national policies, the study finds that policies regarding IT are identical in terms of ambidextrous balance, whereas policies regarding digital healthcare/eGovernment display a distinct difference with Uganda being more focused on exploration than Sweden. In terms of the general healthcare policies, Uganda stands out with a sole focus on exploitation, while Sweden has a mix of exploitation and exploration. On the basis of these findings, we discuss the implications of different balancing points to the continued digitalization of healthcare in the two national settings, and present our conclusions in terms of propositions for the future study of ambidextrous policy for the digitalization of healthcare.

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