The relationship between hospital financial performance and information technology integration strategy selection

Yue Xie, The University of Texas School of Public Health


In light of the new healthcare regulations, hospitals are increasingly reevaluating their IT integration strategies to meet expanded healthcare information exchange requirements. Nevertheless, hospital executives do not have all the information they need to differentiate between the available strategies and recognize what may better fit their organizational needs. In the interest of providing the desired information, this study explored the relationships between hospital financial performance, integration strategy selection, and strategy change. The integration strategies examined – applied as binary logistic regression dependent variables and in the order from most to least integrated – were Single-Vendor (SV), Best-of-Suite (BoS), and Best-of-Breed (BoB). In addition, the financial measurements adopted as independent variables for the models were two administrative labor efficiency and six industry standard financial ratios designed to provide a broad proxy of hospital financial performance. Furthermore, descriptive statistical analyses were carried out to evaluate recent trends in hospital integration strategy change. Overall six research questions were proposed for this study. The first research question sought to answer if financial performance was related to the selection of integration strategies. The next questions, however, explored whether hospitals were more likely to change strategies or remain the same when there was no external stimulus to change, and if they did change, they would prefer strategies closer to the existing ones. These were followed by a question that inquired if financial performance was also related to strategy change. Nevertheless, rounding up the questions, the last two probed if the new Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act had any impact on the frequency and direction of strategy change. The results confirmed that financial performance is related to both IT integration strategy selection and strategy change, while concurred with prior studies that suggested hospital and environmental characteristics are associated factors as well. Specifically this study noted that the most integrated SV strategy is related to increased administrative labor efficiency and the hybrid BoS strategy is associated with improved financial health (based on operating margin and equity financing ratios). On the other hand, no financial indicators were found to be related to the least integrated BoB strategy, except for short-term liquidity (current ratio) when involving strategy change. Ultimately, this study concluded that when making IT integration strategy decisions hospitals closely follow the resource dependence view of minimizing uncertainty. As each integration strategy may favor certain organizational characteristics, hospitals traditionally preferred not to make strategy changes and when they did, they selected strategies that were more closely related to the existing ones. However, as new regulations further heighten revenue uncertainty while require increased information integration, moving forward, as evidence already suggests a growing trend of organizations shifting towards more integrated strategies, hospitals may be more limited in their strategy selection choices.

Subject Area

Information Technology|Finance|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Xie, Yue, "The relationship between hospital financial performance and information technology integration strategy selection" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3518888.