In past years, policies and regulations required hospitals to implement advanced capabilities of certified electronic health records (EHRs) in order to receive financial incentives. This has led to accelerated implementation of health information technologies (HIT) in health care settings. However, measures commonly used to evaluate the success of HIT implementation, such as HIT adoption, technology acceptance, and clinical quality, fail to account for complex sociotechnical variability across contexts and the different trajectories within organizations because of different implementation plans and timelines. We propose a new focus, HIT adaptation, to illuminate factors that facilitate or hinder the connection between use of the EHR and improved quality of care as well as to explore the trajectory of changes in the HIT implementation journey as it is impacted by frequent system upgrades and optimizations. Future research should develop instruments to evaluate the progress of HIT adaptation in both its longitudinal design and its focus on adaptation progress rather than on one cross-sectional outcome, allowing for more generalizability and knowledge transfer.
- Health information technology