Data-Centric Analysis and Design of IT-Enabled Patient Care Processes

Project: Research

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While the impacts of health information technology (IT) have been widely studied, previous studies presented mixed findings due to heterogeneity in IT capabilities, processes, and user characteristics. We strive to mend this research gap by answering the following questions: (1) How do impacts of health information technology differ in diagnostic and support processes? (2) How to utilize internal and external ITs to virtualize specific processes and improve physician work routines and quality of care?In this project, we integrate behavioral research, econometric analysis, and design science in order to answer these two research questions. Dr. J. Leon Zhao is an expert in data centric research that integrates design science research and other research streams such as behavioral research and IS economics. He has extensive experience in leading projects that leverage multiple research methods such as text mining, econometric analysis, and process design. Dr. Xin Li is an expert of econometric analysis and well versed in various topics of business intelligence. Dr. Mohan Tanniru is an expert in IT-enabled healthcare and has published numerous research articles in various conferences and journals. Dr. Ji Wu is an expert in information systems and data science with numerous research publications in data centric research. The proposed project will consist of four main phases:(1)  Leverage Two Well-Known Theories: We will draw on two theories — Task Technology Fit (TTF) and Process Virtualization Theory (PVT) — in order to examine how internal IT (i.e. CPOE system) and external IT (i.e. healthcare online community) differ in facilitating diagnostic and supporting processes and investigate the impacts of IT on healthcare quality.(2) Econometric Analysis of Panel Data: We have initiated collaboration with a large hospital in China to collect micro-level operational and IT adoption data. We have information on how physicians use internal IT (i.e. CPOE system) and external IT (i.e. healthcare online community), patients’ standardized discharge records, demographics, and healthcare outcomes from June 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017. Based on this unique panel data, we will study process models that integrate health IT and evaluate the impacts of specific process models in various hospital operations by means of econometric models.(3) Validate Results using Survey and Field Experiments: To further validate our findings from econometric analysis using observational data, we will conduct surveys to collect participants’ opinions on information technology use. In collaboration with the partner hospital, we will conduct a series of longitudinal field experiments to study how physicians use various technological features of IT systems to select treatment plans for patients.(4) Design Customized Processes and Interfaces: This project will develop IT-enabled communication processes to improve healthcare quality based on PVT and management insights from our empirical and experimental studies. We will also validate the resulting processes via case studies.


Project number9042849
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/10/1931/08/21