Technology-Enabled Transformations in U.S. Health Care: Early Findings on Personal Health Records and Individual Use
Posted: 26 Sep 2008
Date Written: September 24, 2008
Information intensive industries, such as health care, rely extensively on the ability to store, process, analyze, and use data. Although other information intensive industries have adopted information technology aggressively and reaped the benefits that result from usage, the health care industry has been notoriously slow to implement information systems, with some researchers suggesting that health care is 10-15 years behind other industries. Recognizing the critical importance of decision quality in the health care sector, together with the need to improve the speed and efficiency of operations, many have called for the transformation of the health care industry through widespread adoption and usage of information technology (IT). In this chapter, we define and discuss health information technology (HIT) and the extensive opportunities for IS research in this field. In particular, we direct our attention to the electronic personal health record (PHR) and investigate the justification for adoption of a class of software that we label a discretionary application. Finally, we report findings from an empirical investigation of PHR usage and show that specific demographic and health conditions drive value for PHRs and ultimately usage intentions.
Keywords: Health Information Technology, Personal Health Records, Electronic Health Records, Electronic Medical Records, HIT, PHR, EHR, EMR, eHealth
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