Leadership in the context of digital health services: A hypothetical model

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Leena Palotie Auditorium 101A, University of Oulu

Topic of the dissertation

Leadership in the context of digital health services: A hypothetical model

Doctoral candidate

Master of Health Science, Master of Administrative Science Elina Laukka

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Medicine, Research Unit of Health Sciences and Technology

Subject of study

Health Management Science


Professor Ulla-Mari Kinnunen, University of Eastern Finland


Docent Outi Kanste, University of Oulu

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Leadership in the context of digital health services

The importance of digital health services has increasingly become more prominent in international and national guidance in recent years. The wellbeing services counties, which were launched at the beginning of the year 2023, have also placed digital services in an important role in providing sufficient, accessible and timely services as part of service chains. The number of digital services has grown significantly in recent years and they can potentially bring many benefits to healthcare such as more efficient healthcare and better quality care. The successful selection, implementation and use of digital services requires leadership. Leadership in the context of digital health services has been primarily studied in relation to the implementation of digital services. In this compilation thesis, the phenomenon of leadership was examined more broadly, and the objective of the dissertation was to propose a hypothetical model of leadership in the context of digital health services.

Based on previous research, a concept analysis was conducted to identify and define the concept of leadership in digital health services. As part of the research, individual and focus group interviews were conducted with leaders working in primary and specialized healthcare and their experiences of leadership in digital services were explored. The hypothetical model identified the antecedents, attributes and consequences associated with leadership in digital health services. The research also found that healthcare leaders do not often receive sufficient training in digitalization, which may challenge the leadership and the success of digital health services. One of the key findings of the dissertation was that leaders play a crucial role in the successful design of digital services and, above all, proviging support for professionals and ensuring their competence in digital services.
Last updated: 23.1.2024