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BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making

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Health information -- Research and applications


Background: Health Information Organizations (HIOs) are third party organizations that facilitate electronic health information exchange (HIE) between providers in a geographic area. Despite benefits from HIE, HIOs have struggled to form and subsequently gain broad provider participation. We sought to assess whether market-level hospital and EHR vendor dynamics are associated with presence and level of hospital participation in HIOs. Methods: 2014 data on 4523 hospitals and their EHR vendors were aggregated to the market level. We used multivariate OLS regression to analyze the relationship between hospital and vendor dynamics and (1) probability of HIO presence and (2) percent of hospitals participating in an HIO. Results: 298 of 469 markets (64%) had HIO presence, and in those markets, 47% of hospitals participated in an HIO on average. In multivariate analysis, four characteristics were associated with HIO presence. Markets with more hospitals, markets with more EHR vendors, and markets with an EHR vendor-led HIE approach were more likely to have an HIO. Compared to markets with low hospital competition, markets with high hospital competition had a 25 percentage point lower probability of HIO presence. Two characteristics were associated with level of hospital HIO participation. Markets with more hospitals as well as markets with high vendor competition (compared to low competition) had lower participation. Conclusion: Both hospital and EHR vendor dynamics are associated with whether a market has an HIO as well as the level of hospital participation in HIOs.


*At the time of publication Sunny C. Lin was affiliated with the University of Michigan

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