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Professional networks and the alignment of individual perceptions about medical innovation

Iacopino, Valentina; Mascia, Daniele; Cicchetti, Americo

doi: 10.1097/HMR.0000000000000132
Features

Background: In recent decades, the role of technology in health care organizations has become increasingly relevant because it enhances health care outcomes and the achievement of clinical goals. Extant research demonstrates that the effectiveness of a medical innovation depends largely on health care professionals’ perceptions of its usefulness and impact on their activities and practices. We also know that interaction among social actors contributes to the shaping of their judgments and opinions regarding innovation.

Purpose: This study investigated the role of professionals’ social networks and social capital in the formation of similar individual perceptions about a highly innovative robotic surgical system.

Methodology: We collected data from a sample of 50 professionals, including both physicians and nurses, working in three hospital wards belonging to an Italian hospital organization. Using a survey, we gathered data on professionals’ demographic characteristics, the adoption and impact of the new technology, and social networks. We tested our hypotheses using a dyadic perspective and logistic regression quadratic assignment procedures.

Findings: Our findings document that professionals’ perceptions regarding technological change were more likely to be similar when they were connected and exhibited similarity in some social capital characteristics and adoption behavior.

Practice Implications: These results have important implications for health care executives and administrators, as well as for health professionals characterized by high degrees of autonomy and for which organizational change can be affected by professional or organizational resistance.

Valentina Iacopino, PhD, is Post Doctoral Researcher, Faculty of Economics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and Graduate School of Health Economics and Management (ALTEMS), Rome, Italy.

Daniele Mascia, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, and Graduate School of Health Economics and Management (ALTEMS), Rome, Italy. E-mail: dmascia@rm.unicatt.it.

Americo Cicchetti, PhD, is Full Professor, Faculty of Economics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and Graduate School of Health Economics and Management (ALTEMS), Rome, Italy.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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