Information technologies in Florida's rural hospitals: Does system affiliation matter?

Nir Menachemi, Darrell Burke, Art Clawson, Robert G. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Context: The recent explosive growth of information technology in hospitals promises to improve hospital and patient outcomes. Financial barriers may cause rural hospitals to lag in adoption of information technology, however, formal studies that examine rural hospital adoption of information technology are lacking. Purpose: To determine the extent to which rural Florida hospitals utilize clinical and other information technology applications, to identify related information technology issues and barriers, and to explore differences between stand-alone and system-affiliated hospitals. Methods: Chief information officers in rural Florida hospitals were surveyed from June 2003-October 2003. A comprehensive set of questions assessed hospital demographics, information technology priorities and barriers, clinical and other information technology systems, and staffing needs. Findings: In rural Florida, current information technology priorities included upgrading security on information technology systems to meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requirements (53.6%), implementing technology to reduce medical errors and to promote patient safety (50.0%), and implementing wireless systems (46.4%). With respect to current information technology adoption, system-affiliated rural hospitals were statistically more likely than their stand-alone counterparts to have laboratory information systems (93% vs 39%), pharmacy (87% vs 46%), pharmacy dispensing (53% vs 8%), chart deficiency (60% vs 15%), and order communication results (60% vs 23%). Financial barriers to successful information technology implementation were noted by 69% of stand-alone and 20% of system-affiliated rural hospitals. Conclusions: Although top information technology priorities are similar for all rural hospitals examined, differences exist between system-affiliated and stand-alone hospitals in adoption of specific information technology applications and with barriers to information technology adoption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-268
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rural Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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