Investigating the Effects of ICT on Innovation and Performance of European Hospitals: An Exploratory Study
Hospitals are making big investments in various types of ICT, so it is important to investigate their effects on innovation and performance. In this paper is presented an empirical study in this direction, based on data for 743 hospitals from 18 European countries, which were collected in the course of the e-Business Survey of the European Union. We specified and estimated econometrically five equations: one for product innovation, one for process innovation and three equations for the three different dimensions of (ICT-enabled) hospital performance that are taken into consideration in this study. All five equations included various ICT-related variables reflecting ICT infrastructure and a series of important ICT applications, some of them hospital-specific, and some others of general business use, and also ICT personnel (viewed as a kind of ‘soft’ ICT investment), as right-hand variables, while the performance equations also included the two innovation measures. The study contributes threefold to literature. First, it is to our knowledge the first comprehensive study of this kind for European hospitals. Second, it analyzes the effects of various types of ICT on innovation and (ICT-enabled) economic performance of hospitals in an integrated framework. Third, it is based on relatively detailed information on ICT infrastructure and specific ICT applications, both health-specific and general, and also ICT personnel, examining and comparing their effects on innovation and economic performance.
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