All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Richard M Shewchuk

Advisory Committee Members

S Robert Hernandez

Jeffrey H Burkhardt

Peter M Ginter

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Health Professions


This study examines the relationship between electronic health record (EHR) adoption and physicians' operational productivity and financial performance. The resource-based view of the firm (RBV) was utilized as a theoretical framework to develop and address four hypotheses. Specifically, the first two hypotheses address the impact of EHR adoption status (i.e., electronic- vs. paper-based medical records), and the other two hypotheses focus on the length of EHR adoption (i.e., years of EHR adoption). This cross- sectional study used secondary data from the 2008 physician compensation and production survey conducted by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). Multiple linear regression analysis was used to test the hypothesized relationships. The results showed that there was partial evidence that EHR adoption and the length of adoption were negatively related to physicians' operational productivity. Particularly, while EHR adoption was not related to physician RVU, it was negatively related to the number of encounters. The length of EHR adoption was negatively related to physician RVU. Although EHR adoption and length of adoption were not associated with overall financial performance, the adoption was associated with significantly higher charges. An important implication for scholars is that IT infrastructure might serve as a source of competitive advantage for specific tasks. This suggests that when conducting an IT-performance study, researchers should consider task-specific outcome measures. In addition, managers of ambulatory physician practices can use the findings from this current study to facilitate their decision-making process in EHR adoption. Even though partial evidence suggests that EHR adoption is associated with decreased physicians' productivity, it is not negatively associated with financial performance. Coupled with the meaningful incentive program currently being offered as part of the HITECH Act, the ability of EHR to improve charge captures should encourage managers to adopt EHR.



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