The Trillion Dollar Conundrum: Complementarities and Health Information Technology

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  • Date/Time:
    • Friday September 14, 2012
      2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
  • Location: Old CE Building, Room G10
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Juan Moreno-Cruz



Summary Sentence: Shane Greenstein, Northwestern University, presents at School of Economics 2012 Fall Seminar Series

Full Summary: Presentation by Shane Greenstein, Northwestern University: "The Trillion Dollar Conundrum: Complementarities and Health Information Technologies"

Presentation by Shane Greenstein, Northwestern University


We examine the heterogeneous relationship between the adoption of electronic medical records (EMR) and hospital operating costs at thousands of US hospitals between 1996 and 2009. Combining data from multiple sources, we first identify a puzzle that has been seen in prior studies: Adoption of EMR is generally associated with a slight increase in costs. We draw on the literature on information technology as a business process innovation to analyze why this average effect arises, and explain why it masks important differences over time, across locations, and across hospitals. We find evidence consistent with this approach, namely, that: (1) EMR adoption is initially associated with a rise in costs; (2) EMR adoption at hospitals in favorable conditions – such as urban locations – leads to a decrease in costs after three years; and (3) Hospitals in unfavorable conditions experience a sharp increase in costs even after six years.


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Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, School of Economics, School of Literature, Media, and Communication, School of Modern Languages, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, School of History and Sociology, School of Public Policy

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health information, trillion dollar
  • Created By: Carol Silvers
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Aug 29, 2012 - 9:40am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 9:59pm