Date of Conferral
Michael B. Furukawa
In a context where technology is increasingly being incorporated into health care practice, many U.S. health care providers and organizations are finding it challenging to connect disparate electronic documentation systems to retrieve patient information when coordinating care across providers and heath care entities. Local and regional health information exchange (HIE) systems were created to facilitate collecting information into one integrated patient record to address information transfer between heath care providers. Yet, adoption and use of HIEs have been low. The purpose of this study was to review the predictive factors accounting for physicians' use of a HIE in the U.S. state of Hawaii. Key factors from the technology acceptance model were evaluated to determine the behavioral intention resulting in actual use of the Hawaii health information exchange (HHIE). Physician characteristics (medical specialty, age, and gender) and location characteristics were also assessed. The total population of the study contained 1034 Hawaii physicians who have signed up to use the HHIE. Linear and logistic regression models were structured to evaluate the predictive nature of (a) use to determine if a physician has ever logged into the HIE and (b) usage to evaluate the extent to which a physician is logging into the HIE. Findings from the study reveal a predictive relationship between the characteristic of medical specialty and HHIE use when comparing primary care and emergency department physicians to physician specialists. Using study results, health care leaders can improve physician outreach and review barriers when using the HIE systems to coordinate care. Policy implications include the possible formulation of future requirements surrounding HIE physician participation.