Dissertation August 25, 2010
The initial ideas concerning the usage and potential of informational technologies in health care can be traced back to the 1950s (Staropoli, 2008), whereas the earliest adoptions of practical systems by hospitals followed about a decade later, in the mid-1960s (Wager, Lee and Glaser, 2005). Since then, while significant advancements have happened in the adoption and usage of IT in health care, both in terms of scale and scope, such advancements have been considered slow and unaggressive compared to the same process in other industries (Bowser, 2005). At the same time, especially since the 1990s, the spending on IT in the health care industry has increased to a significant amount, both in terms of the total spending and the percentage of the output of the sector. However, as IT adoption and renovation have become an important part on many hospitals’ agenda, the debate over their effectiveness and efficiency has also come to the front stage, not only for the health care industry, but also for the policy makers from the government and the concerned public in general.
My dissertation work intends to contribute to the understanding of Health Care IT adoption and its impact. Although it is certainly beyond the scope of this project to reach any unambiguous conclusions to the above questions, I expect my research to add important insights to the existing literature. This dissertation examines two topics relevant to information technologies in health care industry. (1) The status and change of integrated health care delivery system level IT spending and hospital level IT adoption between 1999 and 2006. (2) The potential link between hospital level IT adoptions and quality as quantified by procedural performance measure. The two chapters of this dissertation cover those two topics respectively.
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