The impact of healthcare IT on clinical quality, productivity and workers
Adoption of health information and communication technologies ('HICT') has surged over the past two decades. We survey the medical and economic literature on HICT adoption and its impact on clinical outcomes, productivity and labor. We find that HICT improves clinical outcomes and lowers healthcare costs, but (i) the effects are modest so far, (ii) it takes time for these effects to materialize, and (iii) there is much variation in the impact. More evidence on the causal effects of HICT on productivity is needed to guide further adoption. There is little econometric work directly investigating the impact of HICT on labor, but what there is suggests no substantial negative effects on employment and earnings. Overall, while healthcare is 'exceptional' in many ways, we are struck by the similarities to the wider findings on ICT and productivity stressing the importance of complementary factors (e.g. management and skills) in determining HICT impacts.
Ari Bronsoler, Joseph Doyle and John Van Reenen
2 September 2021 Paper Number POIDWP018
This POID Working Paper is published under the Programme on Innovation and Diffusion.