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Organizational Influences on Healthcare System Adoption and Use of Advanced Health Information Technology Capabilities
Paul T. Norton, MPH, MBA; Hector P. Rodriguez, PhD, MPH; Stephen M. Shortell, PhD, MPH, MBA; and Valerie A. Lewis, PhD, MA
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Organizational Influences on Healthcare System Adoption and Use of Advanced Health Information Technology Capabilities

Paul T. Norton, MPH, MBA; Hector P. Rodriguez, PhD, MPH; Stephen M. Shortell, PhD, MPH, MBA; and Valerie A. Lewis, PhD, MA
This is the first national study to examine the relationship between healthcare system organizational characteristics and adoption of advanced health information technology capabilities.
ABSTRACT

Objectives: The adoption of advanced health information technology (HIT) capabilities, such as predictive analytic functions and patient access to records, remains variable among healthcare systems across the United States. This study is the first to identify characteristics that may drive this variability among health systems.

Study Design: Responses from the 2017/2018 National Survey of Healthcare Organizations and Systems were used to assess the extent to which healthcare system organizational structure, electronic health record (EHR) standardization, and resource allocation practices were associated with use of 5 advanced HIT capabilities. Of 732 systems surveyed, 446 responded (60.9%), 425 (58.1%) met sample inclusion criteria, and 389 (53.1%) reported consistent EHR use.

Methods: Measures of adoption, resource allocation, and organizational structure were developed based on survey responses. Multivariate linear regression with control variables estimated the relationships.

Results: Adoption of advanced HIT capabilities is low and variable, with a mean of 2.4 capabilities adopted and only 8.4% of systems reporting widespread adoption of all 5 capabilities. In adjusted analyses, EHR standardization (β = 0.76; P = .001) was the strongest predictor of the number of advanced capabilities adopted, and ownership and management of medical groups (β = 0.32; P = .04) was also a significant predictor.

Conclusions: Health systems that standardize their EHRs and that own and manage hospitals and medical groups have higher rates of advanced HIT adoption and use. System leaders looking to increase the use of advanced HIT capabilities should consider ways to better standardize their EHRs across organizations.

Am J Manag Care. 2019;25(1):e21-e25

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