The Role of Mediators in Transforming and Translating Information Quality: A Case of Quality Assurance in a Norwegian Hospital Trust

AbstractThe existing literature on information quality (IQ) provides limited understanding of how roles influence IQ in healthcare. The traditional way of understanding roles such as collectors, custodians, and consumers assumes that data are simply transformed into information and subsequently used by consumers. However, this does not explain how interpersonal communication influences IQ. In reality, the actors involved can actively change the quality of healthcare information through transformation, translation, or distortion. Latour’s idea of intermediaries and mediators can be an appropriate lens for understanding these roles. Latour defined intermediaries as socio-technical actors who simply transport information, whereas mediators can transform, translate, distort, and change the meaning of information. Following Latour’s idea, we conducted a qualitative case study of quality assurance in a Norwegian healthcare organization. In doing so, we illustrated how IQ mediators can distort or create shared understanding of quality assurance information, which further influences enactment.

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