Article Content

Between June 2009 and July 2010, the landscape for studying and implementing health information technology (HIT) drastically changed as a result of the funds awarded through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act for HIT development and the recent ruling from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to award financial incentives for the "Meaningful Use" of HIT. These opportunities and environmental jolts to the health care sector (Bar-Lev & Harrison, 2006; Meyer, 1982) most likely increase the existing high anxiety amongst health care organizations adopting HIT systems (Burke & Menachemi, 2004; Lorenzi, Novak, Weiss, Gadd, & Unertl, 2008). Fewer than 50 of the more than 5,000 hospitals in the United States have fully implemented the highest category of technology, which includes full electronic medical record, interoperable capabilities to transfer medical data, data warehouse, and capabilities to perform data analytics (Li, Bahensky, Jaana, & Ward, 2008). This gap, combined with the environmental opportunities and jolts, reflects the reality facing health care administrators.


Health care administrators and managers play key roles in their organizations by being responsible for adaptation to environmental forces and making adoption decisions of HIT. They will bear responsibility for whatever success and failures will occur during this era of reform, and they will need research upon which to make critical decisions related to HIT. The health care management research community has an opportunity to influence practice. Researchers from the various management-related disciplines (e.g., economics, entrepreneurship, finance, organizational behavior, strategic management) have research findings that can contribute to achieving the health care goals of improving the capabilities of health care organizations by systematically investigating HIT. In addition, the nuances in the health care context provide a rich environment from which to develop new theory as well as extend existing theories.


Objective of the Special Issue

This special issue welcomes the submission of manuscripts presenting original research, rigorous practice evaluation of the impact of HIT implementation on clinical and performance outcomes, literature synthesis of HIT and health information systems (HIS) research, or in-depth presentation of issues and debates involved in HIT and systems implementation. Manuscripts ought to be interdisciplinary using applied and theoretically oriented frameworks to demonstrate or propose how health care organizations are incorporating information technology to transform aspects the business of health care, thereby improving performance or outcomes. The manuscripts can present research using qualitative and/or quantitative research methods, diverse conceptual or theoretical perspectives, and rigorous empirical work that advances or proposes theory.


Possible Topics

A wide range of topics related to HIT and HIS will be considered for this special issue, although all topics must have a clear and explicit relationship to the practice of health care administration. Thus, manuscripts strictly or exclusively focused on financing of health care, technical aspects of implementing HIT, or policy interpretation will not be appropriate for this special issue.


Manuscripts are welcome in one of four broad categories: HIT and strategy of health care organizations, HIT and human resources management, HIT and data management, or HIT and the patient/consumer. Examples of acceptable topics that link HIT with strategy include management of regional and community health information networks, disruptive innovation in health care value chains through the application of information technology, use of HIT to address public and population health, HIT innovations in a global health and international health care context, or health care Web site assessment and effectiveness. Manuscripts addressing HIT and human resources management issues might advance a sociotechnical aspect of HIT adoption, address the human-computer interaction and usability issues, or present a rigorous evaluation of an implementation project. Data management issues could include training for data quality, interoperability across clinical and administrative functions, and management of clinical data. Last, but far from the least, manuscripts are welcome that focus on managing HIT for the benefit of patients/consumers, such as patient-centered applications impacting patient/physician interaction, HIT for patient support and social inclusion, use of HIT or HIS to implement evidence-based clinical practice, or portability and accessibility of electronic medical records. These examples are not exhaustive but illustrative of the topics which are sought.


All contributions will be subjected to a double-blind review process in line with Health Care Management Review (HCMR) editorial policies. The Special Topics guest editors, Eric Ford, Melinda Buntin, and Nir Menachemi, will work closely with the HCMR editor-in-chief to review manuscripts, to select reviewers, and to select the final set of manuscripts. Approximately six manuscripts will be accepted for the special issue. The HCMR Instructions to the Authors are available at Full manuscripts are due to be submitted online at by June 1, 2011, for publication in Volume 37, Issue 1 due to be available in print December 2011. Please note in the cover letter that the submission is for the HIT Special Issue.




Bar-Lev, S., & Harrison, M. I. (2006). Negotiating time scripts during implementation of an electronic medical record. Health Care Management Review, 31, 11-17. [Context Link]


Burke, D., & Menachemi, N. (2004). Opening the black box: Measuring hospital information technology capability. Health Care Management Review, 29, 210-217. [Context Link]


Li, P., Bahensky, J. A., Jaana, M., & Ward, M. (2008). Role of multihospital system membership in electronic medical record adoption. Health Care Management Review, 33, 169. [Context Link]


Lorenzi, N. M., Novak, L. L., Weiss, J. B., Gadd, C. S., Unertl, K. M. (2008). Crossing the implementation chasm: A proposal for bold action. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 15(3), 290-296. [Context Link]


Meyer, A. D. (1982). Adapting to environmental jolts. Administrative Science Quarterly, 27, 515-536. [Context Link]