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From The CriticsReviewer: Stephanie Kitt, MSN (Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
Description: This handbook of evaluation methods is a translated and updated version of a combination of two earlier publications by J. Brender, both focused on methods in technology assessment of IT based solutions within healthcare. It is intended to be used as a reference and handbook in order to understand the function and nature of evaluation as well as its limitations and problems.
Purpose: The primary purpose is to illustrate options for finding appropriate tools within the literature and then to support the user in accomplishing an assessment. The book is informative from a conceptual and analytical perspective, elucidating assessment and evaluation of systems from the user's point of view. Though paradigmatic examples of evaluation methods are included in the book by design, inclusion of pragmatic approaches and model examples would strengthen the content.
Audience: The author identifies the audience as all professionals in healthcare, including IT professionals. In my judgment, it is designed for students in clinical informatics and healthcare professionals with responsibility for assessment and evaluation of IT solutions that impact healthcare delivery.
Features: This book covers concepts related to assessment including methods, techniques, and frameworks, and factors impacting the evaluation. The IT life cycle is explained with focus on assessments at each phase. As well, the book covers information on selecting a method of evaluation and provides a critique of various techniques. The annotated references and web links are valuable tools. The one shortcoming of this book is that it does not provide real life examples that could be used to define one's own evaluation, but to be fair, the author explicitly articulates this as beyond the scope of this publication.
Assessment: Overall, this handbook is quite comprehensive in its coverage of concepts related to IT assessment. However, it lacks substantive information on practical application and could be enhanced with the addition of current day examples of approaches to healthcare IT solution evaluation.