Understanding information exchange in healthcare operations:evidence from hospitals and patients

Dobrzykowski, David and Tarafdar, Monideepa (2015) Understanding information exchange in healthcare operations:evidence from hospitals and patients. Journal of Operations Management, 36. pp. 201-214. ISSN 0272-6963

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Coordination–or the information exchange among physicians and hospital staff–is necessary for desirable patient outcomes in healthcare delivery. However, coordination is difficult because healthcare delivery processes are information intensive, complex and require interactions of hospitals with autonomous physicians working in multiple operational systems (i.e. multiple hospitals). We examine how three important variables distinctive of the healthcare operations context–use of IT for dissemination of test results (ITDR) (i.e. Electronic Health Records systems) by physicians and hospital staff, social interaction ties among them, and physician employment–influence information exchange and patient perceptions of their care. Drawing from the literature on process inter-dependencies and coordination, vertical integration and social exchange, we develop and test research hypotheses linking ITDR, social interaction ties and physician employment to information exchange relationship, and information exchange relationship to provider-patient communication. Using a paired sample of primary survey data and secondary archival data from CMS HCAHPS for 173 hospitals in the U.S.A., we find that increased information exchange relationship drives provider-patient communication, and increased social interaction ties drives information exchange relationship. Social interaction ties fully mediates the relationship between ITDR and information exchange relationship. Physician employment amplifies the link between ITDR and social interaction ties, but does not have an effect on the link between ITDR and information exchange. We do not find a direct relationship between ITDR, and information exchange relationship or provider-patient communication.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Operations Management
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Operations Management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Operations Management, 36, 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.jom.2014.12.003
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05 Jan 2015 11:55
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 01:26