Assessing the Impact of Technology Adoption on Human Touch Aspects in Healthcare Settings in Mauritius

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This paper investigates the impact of technology adoption on human touch aspects in healthcare settings in Mauritius. Unstructured interviews, focus group discussions and overt observations were carried out in two phases with 27 healthcare professionals and 42 healthcare customers in the private sector over a period of five months as part of an exploratory study, followed by a pilot study where a survey was carried out among 31 participants who have also been exposed to private healthcare services in Mauritius. Survey findings have depicted that technology implementation in healthcare settings can represent a direct threat to human touch aspects. Although the outcome of service remains very important, the delivery of same service in terms of how, when and by whom it was delivered has been seen to be as important. Healthcare customers are normally in a vulnerable state requiring appropriate human touch in the service delivery. Moreover, they also expect fast, efficient and effective services which eventually create a pressing need for consequent use of technology. Therefore, the balance between technology and human touch aspects was found to be a determinant of service quality enforcement and customer satisfaction for healthcare customers. This paper demonstrates that implementing technology in healthcare nowadays is inevitable for proper service delivery, however, it is imperative to preserve human touch aspects at all times during health service encounters. This pioneer study also acts as a guide for health care practitioners to derive the best strategies to maintain a good equilibrium between technology adoption and human touch aspects in all healthcare services in the context of developing state such as Mauritius.

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