Paul Weist

Date of Award

Spring 5-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Science in Information Systems


Business and Information Systems

First Advisor

Surendra Sarnikar

Second Advisor

Omar El-Gayar

Third Advisor

Mark Hawkes


The healthcare industry is under both private and government scrutiny where both quality and costs are primary concerns. Information technology has been heralded as affecting both concerns with either a positive or negative effect. The extent that quality and costs have on an organization can be measured by calculating the efficiency of that organization. Efficiency is a relative performance measurement stemming from a comparative analysis of similar activities among organization. This dissertation examines the impact of specific healthcare information technology assets on organizational efficiency. The intent is to provide statistical guidance to organizational decision making directed at realigning information technology's current or future use. The objective of the research is to develop a quantitative model to address the following research questions:

• How do healthcare administration information technology assets contribute to organizational efficiency?

• How do healthcare clinical information technology assets contribute to organizational efficiency?

• How does a specific healthcare information technology asset contribute to organizational efficiency?

Various methods are available to measure efficiency. One of the most utilized methods is data envelopment analysis (DEA). This method takes a population of organizations that consume inputs to produce outputs; production theory can be used to develop basic postulates about production possibilities and to calculate an efficient frontier all of which are used to benchmark the efficiencies of individual organizations.

Using econometric values for the data envelopment analysis, a complete set of efficiency values are determined for each healthcare organization. Data from all parts of the organization are categorized as being an information technology for 1) administration use or 2) clinical use. The resulting observations show that different information technology asset clusters have varying effects on organizational efficiency based on the size of the organizations. The organizational size disparity is controlled by segmenting the organizations based on bed size, resulting in four quartiles of observations. The results of the analysis presents the effect of an information technology asset cluster on organizational efficiency as measured relative to a peer group of healthcare organizations.

To test the significance of the decision-making models, panel data regression analysis is used to determine the impact individual information technologies use has on organizational performance. The analysis calculates the relationships of information technology longitudinally over a four year period. The results of this research have implications for healthcare organizations in the information investment planning process. As healthcare organizations are strongly encouraged and offered financial assistance, making the decision of selecting the most appropriate information technology assets goes beyond the organization's current levels of both time and experience. The decision­ making model addresses the question of where to invest information technologies by narrowing the selection alternatives to functional application clusters and, ultimately, a specific application.