Motivations underlying the adoption of ERP systems in healthcare organizations: Insights from online stories

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Abstract

To face their changing environment, a growing number of healthcare institutions are investing in ERP systems as their basic technological infrastructure, highlighting a phenomenon that recalls the earlier popularity of the ERP movement in the manufacturing and financial sectors. Based on the analysis of 180 stories published on ERP vendors’ websites, the primary aim of this study is to identify, characterize and contextualize the motivations that lead to the adoption of these systems in healthcare organizations. Our findings first indicate that these motivations can be classified into six broad categories, namely technological, managerial-operational, managerial-strategic, clinical-operational, clinical-strategic, and financial. Moreover, three clusters of healthcare organizations were identified with regard to these motivations, and labelled as taking a “business”, “clinical” or “institutional” view of ERP adoption decisions. Given the specificities of IT adoption in the healthcare sector, the importance of these results from a theoretical standpoint lies in filling a knowledge gap in both the ERP and health IT research domains. From a practical standpoint, these results are of interest for policy makers and healthcare managers that must deal with continuous increases in healthcare costs and major demographic changes, and thus need to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare services provided to patients through IT-based innovations.