Technological Innovation and Productivity in Service Delivery
Updated: Jul 12, 2019
Information technology (IT) can improve productivity by simultaneously
affecting operational efficiency for a given worker and the coordination of different workers. Relative to the rest of the service sector, the health care industry has lagged behind in IT adoption and productivity growth.
Rezwan Haque from the Harvard University studies in his paper how the
rapid diffusion of IT has affected productivity in the health care sector.
The main part of this paper is an empirical analysis of how EMRs have affected patient outcomes in US hospitals. Haque merges detailed patient-level
data from Medicare benefciaries with a new dataset on the adoption of EMRs, the American Hospital Association Health IT Supplement.
The main findings are that EMRs have the largest impact on less complex patients and that computers can help with routine tasks. He also finds that hospitals that have a high share of publicly insured patients achieve
a greater reduction in length of stay for more complex patients when they have IT systems.
Reference: Haque, R. (2014) Technological Innovation and Productivity in Service Delivery: Evidence from the Adoption of Electronic Medical Records. Working Paper.