Information Infrastructure as a Learning Process

Information infrastructures develop over time as a changing constellation of practices. Changes in practices, in turn, can be viewed as learning processes. Hence, information infrastructure development can be seen as a consequence of practice-level learning processes. In this project, we use this novel and interesting lens to study and actively participate in information infrastructures for medication management of elderly people, specifically those who can no longer take charge of their own affairs as a result of dementia. Our methodical approach is to investigate and enhance current medication practices concerned with the medication of elderly people with dementia. The practical objective of this project is to significantly improve the medication therapy safety of patients with dementia while ensuring their dignity and autonomy.

We believe that, in addition to physicians, pharmacists, nurses and relatives play a significant role in medication processes and, hence, that their participation is crucial for improving medication therapy safety of patients, especially for the case of people suffering from dementia.

As an initial tool for our probing into the various practices, we will experiment with a new tool, the Federal Unified Medication Plan, which, as of April 2017, must be provided by physicians to patients that regularly use three or more prescription drugs. The specifications of the medication plan also comprise a data matrix code which facilitates the flow of information between computer systems. However, for information to ‘flow’ effectively the various practices must re-align to each other in various and often incremental ways. Understanding and promoting such manifold and variegated forms of re-alignment and inter-weaving are the main objectives and contribution of our project.

Sponsor: Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Duration: 01.05.2018 - 30.04.2020