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Antecedents of Clinical Information Technology Sophistication in Hospitals

Jaana, Mirou; Ward, Marcia M.; Paré, Guy; Sicotte, Claude

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Abstract: Grounded in the resource-based theory and the innovation diffusion theory, this article develops and tests a research model for assessing the antecedents of hospital innovativeness with regard to clinical information technology (IT) applications. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a sample of U.S. hospitals (n = 74) to assess three dimensions of clinical IT sophistication. Secondary data were used to measure the antecedents, namely, four groups of organizational capacity variables. Bivariate and regression analyses were conducted to identify significant associations. A significant percentage (45-61%) of the variance in clinical IT sophistication was explained, mostly by leadership and knowledge sharing capacities. In particular, IT tenure and technical knowledge resources were significantly related to clinical IT sophistication. Surprisingly, managerial tenure and hospital's belonging to a network showed significant negative associations with two dimensions of the clinical IT sophistication construct. To address the challenges they face, hospitals should consider encouraging career development for current individuals in charge of IT activities, and attracting professionals with an IT background who have the knowledge and ability to trigger new ideas and favor the adoption and use of clinical IT applications in these settings.

Mirou Jaana, PhD, is Post-Doctoral Fellow, Canada Research Chair in Information Technology in Health Care, HEC Montreal, Canada and Department of Health Management and Policy, American University of Beirut, Lebanon. E-mail: mirou.jaana@hec.ca.

Marcia M. Ward, PhD, is Professor, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Iowa and Center for Research in the Implementation of Innovative Strategies in Practice, Iowa City VA Medical Center, Iowa. E-mail: marcia-m-ward@uiowa.edu.

Guy Paré, PhD, is Canada Research Chair in Information Technology in Health Care, HEC Montreal, Canada. E-mail: guy.pare@hec.ca.

Claude Sicotte, PhD, is Professor, Department of Health Administration, University of Montreal, Canada. E-mail: claude.sicotte@umontreal.ca.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.