How Does Electronic Health Information Exchange Affect Hospital Performance Efficiency? The Effects of Breadth and Depth of Information Sharing

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Abstract

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This research was motivated by the large investment in health information technology (IT) by hospitals and the inconsistent findings related to the effects of health IT adoption on hospital performance. Building on resource orchestration theory and the information systems literature, the authors developed a research model to investigate how the configuration strategies for sharing information under health IT systems affect hospital efficiency. The hypotheses were tested using data from the 2010 annual and IT surveys of the American Hospital Association, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services case mix index, and U.S. Census Bureau's small-area income and poverty estimates. The study revealed that in health IT systems, the breadth (extent) and depth (level of detail) of digital information sharing among stakeholders each has a curvilinear relationship with hospital efficiency. In addition, breadth and depth reinforce each other's positive effects and attenuate each other's negative effects, and their balance has a positive effect on hospital efficiency. The results of this research have the potential to enrich the literature on the value of adopting health IT systems as well as in providing practitioner guidelines for meaningful use.

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