More than just a question of technology: Factors related to hospitals' adoption and implementation of health information exchange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations


Introduction: The provisions of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act increased the likelihood of more widespread health information exchange (HIE), the electronic transfer of patient-level information between organizations, by essentially mandating the use of electronic health record systems. While important, the sparse body of research on HIE efforts and anecdotal reports indicate the barriers to HIE adoption and implementation include factors beyond simply the presence or absence of a specific technology. Methods: This paper examines those technological, organizational, and environmental factors that are associated with both HIE adoption and implementation in a sample of 4830 U.S. hospitals. Factors associated with adoption and implementation were modeled using random-intercept logistic regression. Results: Consistent with a perspective that adoption and implementation are different phenomena, many factors associated with an increased odds of adoption, were unassociated with implementation and vice versa. Non-profit status, public hospitals, more live and operation applications, more emergency room visits, network membership, and the presence of physician portals all increased hospitals' odds of HIE adoption. However, only network membership increased the odds of HIE implementation, whereas competition decreased those odds significantly. Conclusions: This study agreed with earlier case-studies and anecdotal reports that factors beyond technology were important to both adoption and implementation. While current U.S. policy on healthcare information technology adoption focuses on technological barriers, many other non-technological factors may ultimately hinder effective HIE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-806
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Adoption
  • Electronic health records
  • Health information exchange
  • Implementation
  • Inter-organizational systems
  • Policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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