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Information integration in health care organizations: The case of a European health system

Calciolari, Stefano; Buccoliero, Luca

doi: 10.1097/HMR.0b013e3181d5b109

Background: Information system integration is an important dimension of a company's information system maturity and plays a relevant role in meeting information needs and accountability targets. However, no generalizable evidence exists about whether and how the main integrating technologies influence information system integration in health care organizations.

Purpose: This study examined how integrating technologies are adopted in public health care organizations and chief information officers' (CIOs) perceptions about their influence on information system integration.

Methodology: We used primary data on integrating technologies' adoption and CIOs' perception regarding information system integration in public health care organizations. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multinomial logistic regression were used to examine the relationship between CIOs' perception about information system integration and the adopted technologies.

Results: Data from 90 health care organizations were available for analyses. Integrating technologies are relatively diffused in public health care organizations, and CIOs seem to shape information system toward integrated architectures. There is a significant positive (although modest, .3) correlation between the number of integrating technologies adopted and the CIO's satisfaction with them. However, regression analysis suggests that organizations covering a broader spectrum of these technologies are less likely to have their CIO reporting main problems concerning integration in the administrative area of the information system compared with the clinical area and where the two areas overlap.

Practice Implications: Integrating technologies are associated with less perceived problems in the information system administrative area rather than in other areas. Because CIOs play the role of information resource allocators, by influencing information system toward integrated architecture, health care organization leaders should foster cooperation between CIOs and medical staff to enhance information system integration.

Stefano Calciolari, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Healthcare Management, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland, and Research Fellow at CERGAS, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. E-mail:

Luca Buccoliero, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Public Management and Research Fellow at Customer and Service Science Lab, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.