Health information technology (HIT) purports to increase quality and efficiency in health care organizations. However, health care organizations are situated in constantly changing environments. They need dynamic capabilities to implement HIT effectively.
This article builds on the dynamic capabilities perspective and generates propositions about implementing HIT in dynamic environments. Specifically, I identify the (1) the necessary resources and capabilities for organizations to implement HIT; (2) the organizational capabilities and benefits that can be enhanced by HIT; and (3) the similarities and differences between three distinct forms of HIT.
I synthesized the literature on dynamic capabilities and HIT to identify dynamic capabilities that are associated with (1) electronic medical records, (2) telemedicine, and (3) social media. In addition, I discuss the benefits of these HITs for improving the dynamic capabilities of health care organizations.
This article generates three sets of propositions that can be tested empirically. First, I am concerned with how organizational size and human resources affect successful implementation of HIT. In addition, I argue that three technology-specific factors—hospital type, medical specialty, and socially desirable technical features—may affect the implementation of HIT.
To cope with constantly changing environmental pressures, health administrators need to deploy, modify, and/or acquire organizational resources skillfully. Practitioners need to identify dynamic capabilities to support specific forms of HIT and understand how HIT enables health care organizations in turn. The concept of evolutionary fitness in the dynamic capabilities perspective may be developed to measure HIT implementation.