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ISSN: 2471-268X

Health Economics & Outcome Research: Open Access
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Research Article

Do Skill Mix and High Tech Matter for Hospitals' Competency in Adopting Electronic Health Records?

Bianca K Frogner1* and Gwyn C Pauley2

1University of Washington, USA

2University of Southern California, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Bianca K Frogner
Department of Family Medicine Director
Center for Health Workforce Studies School of Medicine
University of Washington, USA
Tel: 206-616-9657
E mail: [email protected]

Received Date: November 24, 2015; Accepted Date: December 15, 2015; Published Date: December 22, 2015

Citation: Frogner BK, Pauley GC (2015) Do Skill Mix and High Tech Matter for Hospitals’ Competency in Adopting Electronic Health Records? Health Econ Outcome Res Open Access 1:106 doi: 10.4172/2471-268x/1000106

Copyright: © 2015 Frogner BK. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Health workforce plays an important role in the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). Hospitals have cited barriers around hiring a competent workforce to adopt EHRs. The literature does not adequately relate organizational and health workforce competency with EHR adoption, which makes it difficult to monitor and evaluate any programs targeting trying to improve this problem. In this study, we develop an index measuring hospitals’ competency in adopting electronic health records (EHRs) using Item Response Theory. We test to what extent hospitals’ skill mix and high tech capacity influence their competency. We use health IT data from Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics Database and workforce and high tech data from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Provider of Services file. We found that hospitals with a larger share of registered nurses (RNs) had higher EHR competency, but environments with more high tech potentially compete for their attention and results in lower EHR competency. Technicians, therapists, and lower skilled nurses that interact with high tech apparently transfer their knowledge and skills into higher EHR competency. Future EHR adoption incentives should target lower competency hospitals with insufficient workforce and less technological capacity.

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