Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

, Volume 15, Issue 5–6, pp 419–441 | Cite as

The Wireless Nursing Call System: Politics of Discourse, Technology and Dependability in a Pilot Project

  • Casper Bruun JensenEmail author


This paper discusses a research project in which social scientists were involved both as analysts and supporters during a pilot with a new wireless nursing call system. The case thus exemplifies an attempt to participate in developing dependable health care systems and offers insight into the challenges of developing and supporting such systems. The analysis proposes that while dependability is not simply a technical issue, neither is it something, which can be improved merely by adding a social dimension. Instead, it argues that dependability is a relative concept, which may mean different things conditional on how it is specified in practice and who gets to do this. This relativity makes it important to relate the question of how to support dependable health care systems to an analysis of both the politics of technology within specific projects and to the politics of discourse, through which the researcher becomes involved in such projects.

dependability discourse health care politics technology 



I would like to thank Nina Boulus and, especially, Servane Mason for their observations and suggestions. I would like to acknowledge the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for their support of the ACTION for Health Research Program, funded through the Initiative for a New Economy Collaborative Research Initiative.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information and Media StudiesUniversity of Aarhus8200 Aarhus NDenmark

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