Health Information Exchange, System Size and Information Silos

43 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2009 Last revised: 15 Oct 2013

See all articles by Amalia R. Miller

Amalia R. Miller

University of Virginia - Department of Economics

Catherine E. Tucker

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS)

Date Written: October 14, 2013

Abstract

There are many technology platforms that bring benefits only when users share data. In healthcare, this is a key policy issue, because of the potential cost savings and quality improvements from 'big data' in the form of sharing electronic patient data across medical providers. Indeed, one criterion used for federal subsidies for healthcare information technology is whether the software has the capability to share data. We find empirically that larger hospital systems are more likely to exchange electronic patient information internally, but are less likely to exchange patient information externally with other hospitals. This pattern is driven by instances where there may be a commercial cost to sharing data with other hospitals. Our results suggest that the common strategy of using 'marquee' large users to kick-start a platform technology has an important drawback of potentially creating information silos. This suggests that federal subsidies for health data technologies based on 'meaningful use' criteria, that are based simply on the capability to share data rather than actual sharing of data, may be misplaced.

Keywords: network effects, healthcare IT, hospital competition

JEL Classification: I1, K2, L5, O3

Suggested Citation

Miller, Amalia R. and Tucker, Catherine E., Health Information Exchange, System Size and Information Silos (October 14, 2013). NET Institute Working Paper No. 09-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1457719 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1457719

Amalia R. Miller (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4182
United States

HOME PAGE: http://people.virginia.edu/~am5by/

Catherine E. Tucker

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS) ( email )

100 Main St
E62-536
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

HOME PAGE: http://cetucker.scripts.mit.edu

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