The literature review on healthcare and technology has a number of gaps in the research. The problem starts with the slow start in the literature review introduction. The introduction is wide open and really does not pinpoint the focus of the research clearly enough. The introduction is also all over the place introducing too many areas to discuss without enough detail in the literature review to eliminate gaps and unanswered questions. The researcher should have narrowed the focus in order to maintain the level of information needed to address the points fully. Choosing between equipment or medical records to focus on would provide a basis for the research with sufficient detail to fulfill the requirement without spreading the information too thin. The first section after the introduction begins to talk about the electronic records, information, and technology communication, which the researcher failed mentioned at all in the introduction. It is doubtful the researcher wanted to leave these questions unanswered, yet how can one understand the literature review completely with such large gaps.
One area mentioned in several sections of the literature review is the costs of the advances in technology in healthcare. Missing from the literature review was concrete evidence of the conclusion the researcher made. The information is necessary because of several statements made in the literature review such as ‘costs increase not reduce’, ‘high cost restrictions’, and ‘genetic screening is cost-effective’ (Poissant et al, 2005; Gutierrez de Mesa et al, 2007; Sicorov, 2006; Fuchs, 1999; & Harrison, et al, 1997). Critical to the area of costs, whether one states increases or decreases, is to provide factual support of the changes in health care expenses. This area of costs could be a study in its own; however, the literature review fails to address the significance of the issue. The questions begin with discussing what the costs are to healthcare overall. Further investigation into why the costs have not significantly reduced over the years. Certain technology that has made diagnosing certain diseases and conditions should bring costs down if the equipment has been in service for a while, yet the costs continue to remain the same or increase over the years. Why this happens for some conditions and diseases, yet in cases of genetic screening seen as cost effective? The cost element is an important issue to delve further into and as it is, it has left a significant gap in the research in the literature review.
Another area of concern regarding a research gap is the area of ethical and economic considerations mentioned in the literature review. The words ethical and economic considerations connected in the sentence in the literature review, making it appear that the two issues have a direct connection. However, the issues fail to show a connection through the literature review. One of the questions that come to mind is what ethical concerns related to developing the new technologies exist. The literature review does not go into that issue at all. As such, it lacks the credibility of being an issue despite the citation from Postman (1993). Is the reference speaking of ethical issues of the technology, pharmacology, and information processes or the costs to the customer despite the length of time the device has been available? The answers are not forthcoming, yet the researcher poses this as fact. There is insufficient information in the literature review to consider as fact but supposition. This appears as a huge gap in what one must believe when the source for this information likely gave support for his claim that ethical considerations must occur. To present a literature review to support the aim of the study, one must provide sufficient information proving or disproving the aim. The literature review does neither.
The literature review speaks of ‘cascade effects’ but does not discuss in enough detail how this term fits into the previous information gathered. Again, the literature review quite disjointed as it lacks a natural flow in presenting the problem. The literature review fails in presenting the evidence or previous studies on this issue and then it fails to identify the main area one is focusing on in the study. The literature then speaks of the lack of education but it does not specify how it is determined there is a lack of education. Is the lack of education in the office staff, the nurses, doctors, or technicians? The researcher failed to identify why this is important to the overall scheme of the literature review, why he or she deemed it important to place in the study at all.
Overall, this literature review is horribly inefficient. The literature review starts off talking about one subject, special machines developed to help with diagnosing health concerns then goes off to discuss the medical information systems to keep records. The information presented lacks a natural flow, direction, or even providing an aim towards which one connects the literature review with the purpose of the study. As far as the stand-alone literature review, one is nearly unable to determine what the specific aim is for the study. The literature review is too broad in its scope and lacks any depth. The researcher leaves too many unanswered questions and a number of extremely wide gaps in the literature review to offer any significant information to support the need of this study on technology in health care.
- Fuchs, V.R. (1999). Health care for the elderly: How much? Who will pay for it? Health Affairs, 18: 11-21.
- Gutiérrez de Mesa E, Hidalgo I, Christidis P, Ciscar JC, Vegas E & Ibarreta D. (2007). Modeling the impact of genetic screening technologies on healthcare: theoretical model for asthma in children. Molecular Diagnosis & Therapy, 11(5), 313-23.
- Harrison, A., Dixon, J., New, D. & Judge, K. (1997). Can the NHS cope in future?’ British Medical Journal, 314: 139-142.
- Poissant, L, Pereira, J, Tamblyn, R & Kawasumi, Y. (2005). The impact of electronic health records on time efficiency of physicians and nurses: A systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 12(5), 505–516.
- Postman, N. (1993). Technopoly: The surrender of culture to technology. New York, NY: Vintage Books.
- Sidorov J. (2006). It ain’t Necessarily So: The electronic health record and the unlikely prospect of reducing health care costs. Health Affairs, 25(4), 1079-85.