Mobile phones and patient referral in Thai rural healthcare: a structuration view

Rich Ling, Thanomwong Poorisat*, Arul Chib

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study employs a structuration view to examine how the use of mobile phones by healthcare staff affected, changed, or modified the existing patient referral system in rural Thailand. Findings from the interviews (n = 31) indicate that healthcare staff used their personal mobile phones for patient referral because they could quickly reach specific personal contacts in the hospitals and provide nuanced contextual information that was not possible to communicate via the formal paper-based communication system. The practices capture the nascent quasi-institutionalization of mobile-assisted referrals, and provide insights into how existing organizational rules, cultural, norms, resources, and social relationships shape, and are likely to be shaped by mobile communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-373
Number of pages16
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


Dive into the research topics of 'Mobile phones and patient referral in Thai rural healthcare: a structuration view'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this