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Int J Med Inform. 2011 Aug;80(8):e178-88. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2011.01.010. Epub 2011 Feb 16.

Hospital readiness for health information exchange: development of metrics associated with successful collaboration for quality improvement.

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University of Southern California, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90033, United States.



The development of readiness metrics for organizational participation in health information exchange is critical for monitoring progress toward, and achievement of, successful inter-organizational collaboration. In preparation for the development of a tool to measure readiness for data-sharing, we tested whether organizational capacities known to be related to readiness were associated with successful participation in an American data-sharing collaborative for quality improvement.


Cross-sectional design, using an on-line survey of hospitals in a large, mature data-sharing collaborative organized for benchmarking and improvement in nursing care quality.


Factor analysis was used to identify salient constructs, and identified factors were analyzed with respect to "successful" participation. "Success" was defined as the incorporation of comparative performance data into the hospital dashboard.


The most important factor in predicting success included survey items measuring the strength of organizational leadership in fostering a culture of quality improvement (QI Leadership): (1) presence of a supportive hospital executive; (2) the extent to which a hospital values data; (3) the presence of leaders' vision for how the collaborative advances the hospital's strategic goals; (4) hospital use of the collaborative data to track quality outcomes; and (5) staff recognition of a strong mandate for collaborative participation (α=0.84, correlation with Success 0.68 [P<0.0001]).


The data emphasize the importance of hospital QI Leadership in collaboratives that aim to share data for QI or safety purposes. Such metrics should prove useful in the planning and development of this complex form of inter-organizational collaboration.

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