Institutional and market changes seem to force hospitals across the Western world to revitalize their corporate strategies towards more cost efficiency on the one hand, and more flexibility towards customer demands on the other hand. Hospitals, however, apparently differ in the extent to which they are able to implement such strategies effectively. This paper explores whether these different levels of effectiveness depend on how hospitals' top managers' use of the available management information systems (MIS). Based on data obtained from the 218 CEOs of public hospitals in Spain, we analyze how CEOs' professional and educational backgrounds affect their use of MIS, and how the use of the MIS subsequently supports or inhibits the implementation of these strategic goals. The results indicate that CEOs with a predominant clinical background focus more on non-financial information for decision-making and prefer an interactive style of using MIS, which together support flexibility strategies. CEOs with a predominant administrative background seem more effective in establishing cost-reduction strategies, through their larger inclination to emphasize financial information in combination with a diagnostic use of the MIS. Implications for the strategic management of hospitals are outlined.

Hospital management, Management information systems, Strategy implementation, Upper echelon perspective,
Health Policy
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Naranjo-Gil, D, & Hartmann, F.G.H. (2007). How CEOs use management information systems for strategy implementation in hospitals. Health Policy, 81(1), 29–41. doi:10.1016/j.healthpol.2006.05.009