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Impact of Hospital Characteristics and Governance Structure on the Adoption of Tracking Technologies for Clinical and Supply Chain Use: Longitudinal Study of US Hospitals: Longitudinal Study of US Hospitals

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Forthcoming
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>14/04/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number5
Volume24
Pages (from-to)e33742
Publication StatusAccepted/In press
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Background:

Despite an increasing adoption rate of the tracking technologies (e.g., radio-frequency identification (RFID) and barcode) for hospitals in the United States (U.S.), scarce empirical studies examined hospital size, location, and types of hospital affiliations that are associated with the uptake, leaving the understanding towards the trend unclear.

Objective:

This study aimed to identify the hospital characteristics, geographic location, and hospital affiliation type attributive to adopting tracking technologies with a longitudinal dataset, and to compare critical factors associated with tracking technologies adoption for clinical and supply chain uses. We assume that hospital characteristics and hospital location have more impact on tracking technologies for clinical use, and types of hospital affiliation would have more impact on tracking technologies for supply chain use.

Methods:

This study was conducted based on national census data obtained from the American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Survey and an AHA Information Technology Supplement survey. In the analysis, 3623 hospitals across 50 states in the U.S. from 2012 to 2015 were included. The effects of the hospital characteristics, location, and types of hospital affiliations were captured and assessed using population logistic regression models with the adjustment of the innate development of tracking technology over time.

Results:

We find that the proportion of hospitals where tracking technologies were implemented for clinical use increased from 36.3% to 54.6%, whilst that for supply chain increased from 28.6% to 41.3%. We also find that time effect and hospital size positively impact the hospital implementation of tracking technologies for both clinical and supply chain use. The implementation rate of tracking technologies for clinical use increased for the hospitals affiliated to the health systems compared to those that are not but decreased in the hospitals located in the rural area in contrast to those located in metro and micro areas. Over time, the implementation rate of tracking technologies for supply chain use increased for the hospital affiliated to a more centralized health system, against decentralized/independent or moderately centralized hospitals but decreased for for-profit hospitals compared to not-for-profit hospitals.

Conclusions:

We provide a census assessment of tracking technologies adoption, including RFID and barcode in U.S. hospitals for clinical and supply chain uses, and offer a comprehensive overview of the hospital characteristics, location, and types of hospital affiliations associated with the tracking technology adoption. This study informs researchers, healthcare providers, and policymakers that hospital characteristics, location, and types of hospital affiliations have different impacts on both the level and rate of implementation of certain tracking technologies for clinical and for supply chain use. This study also has implications for developing smart hospitals using tracking technology infrastructure.