High Reliability Healthcare: IT as a Catalyst

On October, 10th, 2011 Prof. Dr. Kenneth K. Boyer, Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University, will give a lecture on the topic "High Reliability Healthcare: IT as a Catalyst". The lecture is open to the public. Space is limited, so please register ahead of time.

Past event — 10 November 2011

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Prof. Dr. Kenneth K. Boyer


Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University


We employ high reliability organizational theory and its concept of mindfulness as a lens to evaluate the effectiveness of the adoption and use of healthcare information technology.  We examine the combination of healthcare IT investment, integration, organizational and floor data usage and two measures of outcomes – process of care quality and patient satisfaction.  Data employed combine two different secondary datasets (HIMSS Analytics for adoption and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for outcomes) with responses regarding mindful integration and usage from an online survey of professionals representing 272 U.S. critical care hospitals.  Results show that the analysis and usage of organizational-level data has a significant relationship with patient safety (i.e. reduced errors).  This relationship dominates that of analysis and use of floor data, although the analysis and use of floor error data does relate significantly with process of care quality when organizational level data usage is not included.  Further results reveal that the mindful analysis and use of organizational data fully mediates the relationship between HIT systems integration and process of care quality, indicating that the presence of HIT and the integration between different technologies alone does not completely explain process of care quality – it is critical to also assess the ways in which the data captured and generated by HIT systems is employed.  In summary, our research supports the premise that mindful use of HIT – in particular a deference to organizational expertise matched with a reluctance to simplify explanations – is a critical foundation for employing HIT as a catalyst for progress toward high reliability healthcare.


Ken Boyer is a Dean’s Distinguished Professor of operations management at the Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University.  Dr. Boyer was the co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Operations Management from July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2011.  Dr. Boyer previously was a professor of supply chain management at the Broad College of Management, Michigan State University from 2000 to 2008.  Prior to that  he was an assistant/associate professor at DePaul University from 1995 to 2000.  He earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Brown University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Business Administration from Ohio State University.  Dr. Boyer worked as a project engineer with General Dynamics Electric Boat Division in Groton, CT.  
Dr. Boyer’s research interests focus on the healthcare operations for patient safety, strategic management of operations, electronic commerce and the effective use of advanced manufacturing technologies.  He has published articles in Management Science, Sloan Management Review, Decision Sciences, Journal of Operations Management, and Business Horizons, among others.  His research received the 1997 Chan Hahn award, the 1996 Stan Hardy award and the 2004 Wick Skinner award.  Dr. Boyer received the 2007 John D. and Dortha J. Withrow Teacher-Scholar Award at Michigan State University.  He co-wrote the books "Operations and Supply Chain Management for the 21st Century", Cengage Southwestern Publishers, 2010 and "Extending the Supply Chain: How Cutting-Edge Companies Bridge the Critical Last Mile into Customers' Homes", American Management Association, 2005.  He is a member of the Academy of Management, Decision Sciences Institute and the Production and Operations Management Society.

To register please send an email to: beate.linnenberg@klu.org

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