Higher quality of care, improved health outcomes, and reduced costs become important targets in home health care due its necessity and importance. Successful and effective adoption of health information technology (IT) by HHAs is a critical tool for achieving those targets. However, currently, the level of health IT adoption is limited in HHAs for various reasons including the issues with eligibility to receive incentives for electronic health records systems purchase from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Therefore, the major problem for advancing health IT in the home health care industry is to leverage health IT to effectively respond to HHAs'important challenges and opportunities about improving the quality of care and health outcomes as well as reducing costs;this should be done in an efficient manner by considering the contextual determinants of health IT adoption. So far, the pressing challenges and opportunities of HHAs have not been sufficiently studied from an information systems analysis perspective. In addition, the determinants of health IT adoption in HHAs have not been studied by collecting rich contextual data from HHAs. To address this gap, this research project will: (i) Assess the challenges experienced by HHAs in delivering home care, including the privacy and security challenges, and the opportunities to improve quality of care and health outcomes, to reduce costs, and to improve access (ii) Assess the current health IT adoption activities and investigate the issues that can be addressed for successful and more efficient health IT adoption (iii) Iteratively refine, organize, and report the evidence about health IT adoption in HHAs in an evidence base and make recommendations about key solutions and strategies that can be implemented by HHAs as well as other parties such as vendors and government agencies. Rich and detailed contextual data will be collected by using qualitative methods involving interviews with Maryland HHAs. A number of well-established systems analysis techniques and the constructs validated in the innovation and technology acceptance literature will be used in the interview design. Framework approach, suited to this research project for its inductive and deductive capabilities, will be used as the qualitative research methodology.
This research project will enable and facilitate effective and efficient adoption of health information technology in home health care by (i) uncovering the pressing and important challenges and opportunities about improving the quality of care and health outcomes as well as reducing costs, (ii) assessing the contextual determinants of health IT adoption in home health agencies. As a result, the research project will ultimately help improve the health outcomes for patients who receive health services from home health agencies.