Influence, Information Overload, and Information Technology in Health Care

36 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2008 Last revised: 31 Jul 2012

See all articles by James B. Rebitzer

James B. Rebitzer

Boston University School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute

Mari Rege

University of Stavanger

Christopher Shepard

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: July 2008

Abstract

We investigate whether information technology can help physicians more efficiently acquire new knowledge in a clinical environment characterized by information overload. Our analysis makes use of data from a randomized trial as well as a theoretical model of the influence that information technology has on the acquisition of new medical knowledge. Although the theoretical framework we develop is conventionally microeconomic, the model highlights the non-market and non-pecuniary influence activities that have been emphasized in the sociological literature on technology diffusion. We report three findings. First, empirical evidence and theoretical reasoning suggests that computer based decision support will speed the diffusion of new medical knowledge when physicians are coping with information overload. Secondly, spillover effects will likely lead to "underinvestment" in this decision support technology. Third, alternative financing strategies common to new information technology, such as the use of marketing dollars to pay for the decision support systems, may lead to undesirable outcomes if physician information overload is sufficiently severe and if there is significant ambiguity in how best to respond to the clinical issues identified by the computer.

Suggested Citation

Rebitzer, James B. and Rege, Mari and Shepard, Christopher, Influence, Information Overload, and Information Technology in Health Care (July 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14159. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1161082

James B. Rebitzer (Contact Author)

Boston University School of Management ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States
617 353 4605 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute

Blithewood
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504
United States

Mari Rege

University of Stavanger ( email )

PB 8002
Stavanger, 4036
Norway

Christopher Shepard

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
21
Abstract Views
1,089
PlumX Metrics