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Finance and Economics Discussion Series logo links to FEDS home page Measuring the Cost Impact of Hospital Information Systems
Ron Borzekowski

Abstract: This study measures the impact of information technology (IT) use on hospital operating costs during the late 1980's and early 1990's. Using a proprietary eight-year panel dataset (1987-1994) that catalogues application-level automation for the complete census of the 3,000 U.S. hospitals with more than 100 beds, this study finds that both financial/administrative and clinical IT systems at the most thoroughly automated hospitals are associated with declining costs three and five years after adoption. At the application level, declining costs are associated with the adoption of some of the newest technologies, including systems designed for cost management, the administration of managed care contracts, and for both financial and clinical decision support. The association of cost declines with lagged IT as well as the cost patterns at the less automated hospitals both provide evidence of learning effects.

Keywords: Hospitals, information technololgy, productivity

Full paper (223 KB PDF)

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Last update: September 19, 2002