2019_POM05.pdf - Vol 0 No 0 xxxxu2013xxxx 2019 pp...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 21 pages.

The Impact of Information Technology and Communication on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Luv Sharma, Carrie Queenan*, Orgul Ozturk Darla Moore School of Business, Management Science, University of South Carolina, 1014 Greene Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA, [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] H ealth care organizations have substantially invested in Health Information Technology (HIT) as part of an effort to improve quality. However, many hospitals fail to generate positive returns on this significant investment, based on reimbursements for quality measures through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Given the high cost of lawsuits, we investi- gate if HIT adoption reduces lawsuits, and their attendant costs, as another consideration in HIT payoffs. We use opera- tional transparency theory to develop hypotheses on the individual and joint impact of HIT and communication quality in influencing patients’ likelihood to file a lawsuit. We combine data on 168 hospitals in the state of Florida from 2007 to 2011 in order to investigate these relationships. Analysis using a fractional response model indicates that HIT has a direct impact in reducing the number of lawsuits, this effect being higher for hospitals with higher communication quality scores. These results remain consistent irrespective of the type of caregiver (physician vs nurse) communicating with the patient or the severity of injury resulting in the lawsuit. Our results also remain robust under different operationalization of key independent variables and alternate model specifications. These results provide a better understanding of the mechanisms that reduce lawsuits. Key words: malpractice lawsuits; health information technology; communication quality; healthcare delivery; fractional response model History : Received: February 2017; Accepted: May 2019 by Sergei Savin, after 4 revisions. 1. Introduction Health care organizations have substantially invested in Health Information Technology (HIT) (Henry et al. 2016). While investment sums vary by organization strategy and size, estimates range from $2.7 million for a 50 bed hospital to $600 million for a 73 hospital organization (Altarum Institute 2011, Barlas 2011). Organizations have invested in HIT for multiple rea- sons, such as improved quality, reduced costs and rework, and increased reimbursement payments under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Chaudhry et al. 2006, Mangalmurti et al. 2010). Although HIT can enable quality improvements, they are not guar- anteed (Jones et al. 2014, Kohli and Devaraj 2004). Further, even with quality improvements, when man- agement considers primary outcomes, such as increased reimbursements under the ACA, return on HIT investment is far from certain (Barlas 2011). How- ever, HIT may influence more distal outcomes that also impact costs and benefits; we investigate one such outcome: lawsuits.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture