The impact of clinical leadership on health information technology adoption: systematic review

Tor Ingebrigtsen*, Andrew Georgiou, Robyn Clay-Williams, Farah Magrabi, Antonia Hordern, Mirela Prgomet, Julie Li, Johanna Westbrook, Jeffrey Braithwaite

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To conduct a systematic review to examine evidence of associations between clinical leadership and successful information technology (IT) adoption in healthcare organisations. Methods: We searched Medline, Embase, Cinahl, and Business Source Premier for articles published between January 2000 to May 2013 with keywords and subject terms related to: (1) the setting - healthcare provider organisations; (2) the technology - health information technology; (3) the process - adoption; and (4) the intervention - leadership. We identified 3121 unique citations, of which 32 met our criteria and were included in the review. Data extracted from the included studies were assessed in light of two frameworks: Bassellier et al.'s IT competence framework; and Avgar et al.'s health IT adoption framework. Results: The results demonstrate important associations between the attributes of clinical leaders and IT adoption. Clinical leaders who have technical informatics skills and prior experience with IT project management are likely to develop a vision that comprises a long-term commitment to the use of IT. Leaders who possess such a vision believe in the value of IT, are motivated to adopt it, and can maintain confidence and stability through the adversities that IT adoptions often entail. This leads to proactive leadership behaviours and partnerships with IT professionals that are associated with successful organisational and clinical outcomes. Conclusions: This review provides evidence that clinical leaders can positively contribute to successful IT adoption in healthcare organisations. Clinical leaders who aim for improvements in the processes and quality of care should cultivate the necessary IT competencies, establish mutual partnerships with IT professionals, and execute proactive IT behaviours to achieve successful IT adoption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-405
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Health informatics
  • Information systems
  • Diffusion of innovation
  • Decision making organisational
  • Clinical competence


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