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Innovative Power of Health Care Organisations Affects IT Adoption: A bi-National Health IT Benchmark Comparing Austria and Germany.

Innovative Power of Health Care Organisations Affects IT Adoption: A bi-National Health IT Benchmark Comparing Austria and Germany.
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Hüsers J, Hübner U, Esdar M, Ammenwerth E, Hackl WO, Naumann L, Liebe JD,


Hüsers J, Hübner U, Esdar M, Ammenwerth E, Hackl WO, Naumann L, Liebe JD, (click to view)

Hüsers J, Hübner U, Esdar M, Ammenwerth E, Hackl WO, Naumann L, Liebe JD,

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Journal of medical systems 2017 01 0441(2) 33 doi 10.1007/s10916-016-0671-6
Abstract

Multinational health IT benchmarks foster cross-country learning and have been employed at various levels, e.g. OECD and Nordic countries. A bi-national benchmark study conducted in 2007 revealed a significantly higher adoption of health IT in Austria compared to Germany, two countries with comparable healthcare systems. We now investigated whether these differences still persisted. We further studied whether these differences were associated with hospital intrinsic factors, i.e. the innovative power of the organisation and hospital demographics. We thus performed a survey to measure the "perceived IT availability" and the "innovative power of the hospital" of 464 German and 70 Austrian hospitals. The survey was based on a questionnaire with 52 items and was given to the directors of nursing in 2013/2014. Our findings confirmed a significantly greater IT availability in Austria than in Germany. This was visible in the aggregated IT adoption composite score "IT function" as well as in the IT adoption for the individual functions "nursing documentation" (OR = 5.98), "intensive care unit (ICU) documentation" (OR = 2.49), "medication administration documentation" (OR = 2.48), "electronic archive" (OR = 2.27) and "medication" (OR = 2.16). "Innovative power" was the strongest factor to explain the variance of the composite score "IT function". It was effective in hospitals of both countries but significantly more effective in Austria than in Germany. "Hospital size" and "hospital system affiliation" were also significantly associated with the composite score "IT function", but they did not differ between the countries. These findings can be partly associated with the national characteristics. Indicators point to a more favourable financial situation in Austrian hospitals; we thus argue that Austrian hospitals may possess a larger degree of financial freedom to be innovative and to act accordingly. This study is the first to empirically demonstrate the effect of "innovative power" in hospitals on health IT adoption in a bi-national health IT benchmark. We recommend directly including the financial situation into future regression models. On a political level, measures to stimulate the "innovative power" of hospitals should be considered to increase the digitalisation of healthcare.

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