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In healthcare, SocialTechnical is a description of the larger social and technical system in which a design would intersect.

Social Setting[edit]

Patients that seek health care form a social group. Depending on the geographical location of where the setting resides, they would have different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. One of the implications of this is that patients seeking health care need not all speak a common language, which makes the problem of patient comprehension particularly hard and interesting. The nature of ailment can range from something as simple as the common flu to something that is highly sophisticated, needing specialized care. The other larger social group is the set of health care service providers. (hospitals, medical clinics, health center etc.). Within the larger group are subgroups like general physicians, specialized doctors, nurses and administrative/assistant staff, depending on the nature of their work and expertise. The patients and the health care service providers together form the social setting.

Technical Setting[edit]

On the patient's side, depending on the nature of the illness (common flu, nervous weakness, torn ligament, etc.), they would require appropriate medical attention. The health service providers on the other hand may choose to offer health care services for some highly specific kinds of ailments/emergency care. For instance, some of them might offer specialized services such as eye care, cancer clinic etc. Within a medical institution, different issues with the health care (like patient observation, diagnosis, tests, medication, book keeping, accounts and pharmacy) may be managed by different subgroups, with technical expertise in their own area. There are many health insurance providers that play a big role in the monetary aspect of the interaction between the patients and the health service providers. Additional services such as "medical translator" service may be available, that are aimed at some select social group -is meant for enhancing the patient comprehension among non-English speaking patients.