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JIPS 2011 7.2 Article 3

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Prod. Code: JIPS2011-7.2Art3

Information Politics in Health Information Exchange
Sherrie Drye Cannoy, North Carolina A&T State University—Greensboro, USA
Pamela E. Carter, North Carolina A&T State University—Greensboro, USA


There have been recent mandates for the implementation of Electronic Health Records to improve the quality of healthcare. The sharing of Electronic Health Record information between health providers is called Health Information Exchange (HIE). In the quest to implement Health Information Exchange, technological factors have been emphasized, ignoring important cultural factors. Health Information Exchange requires the collaboration and harmonization of efforts between many stakeholders who often have conflicting views about how information should be shared. Industry-specific cultural factors such as legal, social, and political issues are critical to understand in the context of complex network environments such as Health Information Exchange. This study draws upon multiple theoretical perspectives to develop a conceptual theory to explain information politics in complex network environments. Davenport, Eccles, and Prusak’s (1992) information politics theory is applied and extended through this longitudinal case study of the HIE Privacy and Security State Network. Through examination of a three-year project (Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration), it was found that stages of information polity evolved. The contributions of this study include the application and extension of information politics theory from the organizational level to the complex network level. Implications for practice and research are provided.