1. Issel, L. Michele PhD, RN
  2. Ford, Eric W. PhD
  3. Menachemi, Nir PhD, MPH

Article Content

The current issue of HCMR features articles invited to a special call for articles on "Health Information Technology and Management in the Era of Reform." The articles build on the strong heritage of HCMR authors whom have long studied health information technology (HIT) issues in the organizational context.


Over a decade ago, in the Fall 2000 issue of HCMR, Lawton Burns wrote an invited commentary that outlined a research agenda for health services management. He began outlining many research questions surrounding HIT, including the impact of electronic medical records (EMR), implications of E-business, and the impact of the Internet on business-to-business and business-to-consumer interactions in health care organizations (Burns, 2000). A few issues later, HCMR authors began addressing the research gaps identified by Burns, and among the first were Payton and Ginzberg who explored "Interorganizational Health Care Systems Implementations: An Exploratory Study of Early Electronic Commerce Initiatives" (Payton & Ginzberg, 2001). Also in 2000, Wholey and colleagues reported on "The Diffusion of Information Technology Among Health Maintenance Organizations" in the Spring issue of HCMR (Wholey, Padman, Hamer, & Schwartz, 2000)-a topic that seems equally as applicable to today's health care environment.


One of the most frequently cited HCMR articles from the new millennium's first decade, "Explaining Diffusion Patterns for Complex Health Care Innovations" (Denis, Hebert, Langley, Lozeau, & Trottier, 2002), clearly anticipated both the research and practical challenges that new HIT would create. Taking up the challenge, authors began investigating issues surrounding telemedicine (Robinson, Savage, & Campbell, 2003; Turner et al., 2003), clinical information systems (Bar-Lev & Harrison, 2006; Weiner, Savitz, Bernard, & Pucci, 2004), barcode technology for reducing medical errors (Pinkerton, 2004), and the forging of E-health partnerships (Caro, 2005) in the early to mid 2000s. In 2004, HCMR published a methodological article that examined an approach for measuring HIT sophistication in hospitals (Burke & Menachemi, 2004), which was later used by several HCMR authors to examine factors influencing HIT adoption (Wang, Wan, Burke, Bazzoli, & Lin, 2005) and the relationship between HIT adoption and hospital quality (Menachemi, Chukmaitov, Saunders, & Brooks, 2008). As the decade progressed, researchers were able to provide managerial insights into where HITs were likely to be successfully adopted in medical practice (Kralewski et al., 2008) and hospital settings (Harrison & Kimani, 2009).


The April/June 2006 issue of HCMR was the first to feature two articles on HIT topics: one that examined HIT systems for strategic planning (Killingsworth, Newkirk, & Seeman, 2006) and another focusing on SMS reminders for "no shows" at an outpatient clinic (Milne, Horne, & Torsney, 2006). Other articles that year examined factors that influence HIT adoption by hospitals (Jaana, Ward, Pare, & Sicotte, 2006) and how organizational support for technology can influence job satisfaction (DelliFraine, Dansky, & Rumberger, 2006). In the following few years, HCMR authors examined HIT issues surrounding outsourcing decisions (Menachemi, Burkhardt, Shewchuk, Burke, & Brooks, 2007), the effect of payer mix on the adoption of HIT by hospitals (Menachemi, Hikmet, Bhattacherjee, Chukmaitov, & Brooks, 2007) and physicians (Menachemi, Matthews, Ford, & Brooks, 2007), and the effect of HIT on firm level performance (Thouin, Hoffman, & Ford, 2008).


In 2008, Li et al. examined the role of multihospital systems in the decision to adopt EMRs (Li, Bahensky, Jaana, & Ward, 2008), and Abdolrasulnia and colleagues studied how market forces are associated with physician EMR adoption (Abdolrasulnia et al., 2008). Later that year, the aforementioned Kralewski article reported on physician factors influencing HIT usage (Kralewski et al., 2008). In 2009, Davis et al. studied HIT adoption in nursing homes using national data (Davis et al., 2009). Soon thereafter, authors began focusing again on physician practices with Menachemi and colleagues examining the role of HIT in physician practice satisfaction (Menachemi, Powers, & Brooks, 2009) and Bramble et al. examining physician characteristics associated with adoption (Bramble et al., 2011). Calciolari and Buccoliero examined information integration in health care organizations by previewing a case in the European health system (Calciolari & Buccoliero, 2011).


More recently, HCMR authors have examined issues surrounding electronic prescription and order entry systems in hospitals (Kazley & Diana, 2011) and medical practices (Au, Menachemi, Panjamapirom, & Brooks, 2011). Moreover, authors have studied the patient experience in online health communities (Nambisan, 2011), the experiences of early adopters in long-term care facilities (Cherry, Ford, & Peterson, 2011), and market factors associated with HIT management strategies in hospitals (Menachemi, Shin, Ford, & Yu, 2011).


From 2000 to 2011, HCMR has worked toward improving our understanding of how HIT affects organizations and providers using both qualitative and quantitative research designs. The use of case studies and small samples to describe early adopters' experiences are valuable for helping to inform practitioners on how to manage the HIT adoption and implementation processes. On the other hand, the empirical research has helped to create taxonomies of HIT adoption that describe the market and organizational types where HIT is both succeeding and experiencing challenges. Both streams of research have helped to inform policymakers' program designs to promote HIT adoption. The major new research streams that are emerging are focused on HIT's impacts on costs, care quality, and consumer satisfaction.


The Health Information HITECH Act of 2009 (Blumenthal, 2009) created new health care organizations to promote HIT adoption and facilitate medical information sharing among providers-Regional Extension Centers and Health Information Exchanges, respectively. The legislation also gave rise to the federal "Meaningful Use" incentive and reward program. The ability and willingness of health care organizations to meet the program's goals will undoubtedly lead to several new streams of research related to HIT. In addition, the passage of the Patient Protection Accountable Care Act (Berwick, 2011) envisions new patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations. These new organizations also represent entirely new management challenges and research opportunities. Lastly, the focus on consumers as fully engaged participants rather than passive recipients of care will challenge traditional research modalities as the use of personal health records and social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp!) alters information control and decision-making paradigms.


All in all, the five HIT studies in the current issue add to the over 32 HIT articles published in HCMR in the past decade and point to many areas of future research.


L. Michele Issel, PhD, RN


Eric W. Ford, PhD


Nir Menachemi, PhD, MPH




Abdolrasulnia M., Menachemi N., Shewchuk R. M., Ginter P. M., Duncan W. J., Brooks R. G. (2008). Market effects on electronic health record adoption by physicians. Health Care Management Review, 33 (3), 243-252. [Context Link]


Au D. W., Menachemi N., Panjamapirom A., Brooks R. G. (2011). The influence of payer mix on electronic prescribing by physicians. Health Care Management Review, 36 (1), 95-101. [Context Link]


Bar-Lev S., Harrison M. I. (2006). Negotiating time scripts during implementation of an electronic medical record. Health Care Management Review, 31 (1), 11-17. [Context Link]


Berwick D. M. (2011). Launching Accountable Care Organizations: The proposed rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program. New England Journal of Medicine, 364 (16), e32. [Context Link]


Blumenthal D. (2009). Launching HITECH. New England Journal of Medicine, 362 (5), 382-385. [Context Link]


Bramble J. D., Galt K. A., Siracuse M. V., Abbott A. A., Drincic A., Paschal K. A., Fuji K. T. (2011). The relationship between physician practice characteristics and physician adoption of electronic health records. Health Care Management Review, 35 (1), 55-64. [Context Link]


Burke D. E., Menachemi N. (2004). Opening the black box: Measuring hospital information technology capability. Health Care Management Review, 29 (3), 210-217. [Context Link]


Burns L. R. (2000). A research agenda for health services management. Health Care Management Review, 25 (4), 85-87. [Context Link]


Calciolari S., Buccoliero L. (2011). Information integration in health care organizations: The case of a European health system. Health Care Management Review, 35 (3), 266-275. [Context Link]


Caro D. H. (2005). Forging E-health partnerships: Strategic perspectives from international executives. Health Care Management Review, 30 (2), 174-181. [Context Link]


Cherry B. J., Ford E. W., Peterson L. T. (2011). Experiences with electronic health records: Early adopters in long-term care facilities. Health Care Management Review, 36 (3), 265-274. [Context Link]


Davis J. A., Brannon D., Whitman M. V. (2009). Organizational factors associated with the use of information systems in nursing homes. Health Care Management Review, 34 (2), 141-151. [Context Link]


DelliFraine J. L., Dansky K. H., Rumberger J. S. (2006). Can organizational support for technology influence job satisfaction? Health Care Management Review, 31 (4), 300-307. [Context Link]


Denis J. L., Hebert Y., Langley A., Lozeau D., Trottier L. H. (2002). Explaining diffusion patterns for complex health care innovations. Health Care Management Review, 27 (3), 60-73. [Context Link]


Harrison M. I., Kimani J. (2009). Building capacity for a transformation initiative: System redesign at Denver Health. Health Care Management Review, 34 (1), 42-53. [Context Link]


Jaana M., Ward M. M., Pare G., Sicotte C. (2006). Antecedents of clinical information technology sophistication in hospitals. Health Care Management Review, 31 (4), 289-299. [Context Link]


Kazley A., Diana M. L. (2011). Hospital computerized provider order entry adoption and quality: An examination of the United States. Health Care Management Review, 36 (1), 86-94. [Context Link]


Killingsworth B., Newkirk H. E., Seeman E. (2006). An integrative health information systems approach for facilitating strategic planning in hospitals. Health Care Management Review, 31 (2), 119-129. [Context Link]


Kralewski J. E., Dowd B. E., Cole-Adeniyi T., Gans D., Malakar L., Elson B. (2008). Factors influencing physician use of clinical electronic information technologies after adoption by their medical group practices. Health Care Management Review, 33 (4), 361-367. [Context Link]


Li P., Bahensky J. A., Jaana M., Ward M. M. (2008). Role of multihospital system membership in electronic medical record adoption. Health Care Management Review, 33 (2), 169-177. [Context Link]


Menachemi N., Burkhardt J., Shewchuk R., Burke D., Brooks R. G. (2007). To outsource or not to outsource: Examining the effects of outsourcing IT functions on financial performance in hospitals. Health Care Management Review, 32 (1), 46-54. [Context Link]


Menachemi N., Chukmaitov A., Saunders C., Brooks R. G. (2008). Hospital quality of care: Does information technology matter? The relationship between information technology adoption and quality of care. Health Care Management Review, 33 (1), 51-59. [Context Link]


Menachemi N., Hikmet N., Bhattacherjee A., Chukmaitov A., Brooks R. G. (2007). The effect of payer mix on the adoption of information technologies by hospitals. Health Care Management Review, 32 (2), 102-110. [Context Link]


Menachemi N., Matthews M. C., Ford E. W., Brooks R. G. (2007). The influence of payer mix on electronic health record adoption by physicians. Health Care Management Review, 32 (2), 111-118. [Context Link]


Menachemi N., Powers T. L., Brooks R. G. (2009). The role of information technology usage in physician practice satisfaction. Health Care Management Review, 34 (4), 364-371. [Context Link]


Menachemi N., Shin D. Y., Ford E. W., Yu F. (2011). Environmental factors and health information technology management strategy. Health Care Management Review, 36 (3), 275-285. [Context Link]


Milne R. G., Horne M., Torsney B. (2006). SMS reminders in the UK national health service: an evaluation of its impact on "no-shows" at hospital out-patient clinics. Health Care Management Review, 31 (2), 130-136. [Context Link]


Nambisan P. (2011). Evaluating patient experience in online health communities: Implications for health care organizations. Health Care Management Review, 36 (2), 124-133. [Context Link]


Payton F. C., Ginzberg M. J. (2001). Interorganizational health care systems implementations: An exploratory study of early electronic commerce initiatives. Health Care Management Review, 26 (2), 20-32. [Context Link]


Pinkerton S. (2004). Early bar code ruling helps reduce medication errors. Health Care Management Review, 29 (2), 89. [Context Link]


Robinson D. F., Savage G. T., Campbell K. S. (2003). Organizational learning, diffusion of innovation, and international collaboration in telemedicine. Health Care Management Review, 28 (1), 68-78. [Context Link]


Thouin M. F., Hoffman J. J., Ford E. W. (2008). The effect of information technology investment on firm-level performance in the health care industry. Health Care Management Review, 33 (1), 60-68. [Context Link]


Turner J. W., Robinson J. D., Alaoui A., Winchester J., Neustadtl A., Levine B. A., Mun S. K. (2003). Media attitudes vs. use: The contribution of context to the communication environment in telemedicine. Health Care Management Review, 28 (2), 95-106. [Context Link]


Wang B. B., Wan T. T., Burke D. E., Bazzoli G. J., Lin B. Y. (2005). Factors influencing health information system adoption in American hospitals. Health Care Management Review, 30 (1), 44-51. [Context Link]


Weiner B. J., Savitz L. A., Bernard S., Pucci L. G. (2004). How do integrated delivery systems adopt and implement clinical information systems? Health Care Management Review, 29 (1), 51-66. [Context Link]


Wholey D. R., Padman R., Hamer R., Schwartz S. (2000). The diffusion of information technology among health maintenance organizations. Health Care Management Review, 25 (2), 24-33. [Context Link]