Journal of Medical Systems

, 38:3 | Cite as

High-Level Managers’ Considerations for RFID Adoption in Hospitals: An Empirical Study in Taiwan

Original Paper


Prior researches have indicated that an appropriate adoption of information technology (IT) can help hospitals significantly improve services and operations. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is believed to be the next generation innovation technology for automatic data collection and asset/people tracking. Based on the Technology–Organization–Environment (TOE) framework, this study investigated high-level managers’ considerations for RFID adoption in hospitals. This research reviewed literature related IT adoption in business and followed the results of a preliminary survey with 37 practical experts in hospitals to theorize a model for the RFID adoption in hospitals. Through a field survey of 102 hospitals and hypotheses testing, this research identified key factors influencing RFID adoption. Follow-up in-depth interviews with three high-level managers of IS department from three case hospitals respectively also presented an insight into the decision of RFID’s adoption. Based on the research findings, cost, ubiquity, compatibility, security and privacy risk, top management support, hospital scale, financial readiness and government policy were concluded to be the key factors influencing RFID adoption in hospitals. For practitioners, this study provided a comprehensive overview of government policies able to promote the technology, while helping the RFID solution providers understand how to reduce the IT barriers in order to enhance hospitals’ willingness to adopt RFID.


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology adoption Technology-Organization-Environment (TOE) model Hospitals 



This study was supported by the Chienkuo Technology University, Taiwan, R.O.C., under Grant No. CTU-101-RP-IM-003-015-A. We are thankful for all participators, in particular Dr. Tien-Cheng Hsu, director of the IS Department and Mr. Tzu-Chia Huang system engineer for the IS Department, from Changhua Christia Medcial Center. The authors would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers and editors for their constructive comments.

Conflict of interest

All authors have no financial or non-financial interests that may be relevant to the submitted work. There is without any possibility of favoritism or personal gain conducted via this study. So, the authors declare they have no conflict of interests.


  1. 1.
    Chang, I. C., Hwang, H. G., Yen, D. C., and Lian, J. W., Critical factors for adopting PACS in Taiwan: Views of radiology department directors. Decis. Support. Syst. 42(2):1042–1053, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fichman, R. G., Kohli, R., and Krishnan, R., The role of information systems in healthcare: Current research and future trends. Inf. Syst. Res. 22(3):419–428, 2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lin, C., Lin, I. C., and Roan, J., Barriers to physicians’ adoption of healthcare information technology: An empirical study on multiple hospitals. J. Med. Syst. 36(3):1965–1977, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yao, W., Chu, C. H., and Li, Z., The adoption and implementation of RFID technologies in healthcare: A literature review. J. Med. Syst. 36(6):3507–3525, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Finch, C., Mobile computing in healthcare. Health Management Technology 20(3):64–65, 1999.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Qu, X., Simpson, L. T., and Stanfield, P., A model for quantifying the value of RFID-enabled equipment tracking in hospitals. Adv. Eng. Inform. 25(1):23–31, 2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lee, C. P., and Shim, J. P., An exploratory study of radio frequency identification (RFID) adoption in the healthcare industry. Eur. J. Inf. Syst. 16(6):712–724, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chong, A. Y. L., and Chan, F. T. S., Structural equation modelling for multi-stage analysis on radio frequency identification (RFID) diffusion in the health care industry. Expert Syst. Appl. 39(10):8645–8654, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zhou, W., and Piramuthu, S., Framework, strategy and evaluation of health care processes with RFID. Decis. Support. Syst. 50(1):222–233, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kim, S., and Garrison, G., Understanding users’ behaviors regarding supply chain technology: Determinants impacting the adoption and implementation of RFID technology in South Korea. Int. J. Inf. Manag. 30(5):388–398, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wang, Y. M., Wang, Y. S., and Yang, Y. F., Understanding the determinants of RFID adoption in the manufacturing industry. Technol. Forecast. Soc. Chang. 77(5):803–815, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Scott Morton, M. S., The corporation of the 1990s: Information technology and organizational transformation. Oxford University Press, New York, 1991.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Grover, V., and Goslar, M. D., The initiation, adoption and implementation of telecommunications technologies in U.S. Organizations. J. Manag. Inf. Syst. 10(1):141–163, 1993.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Pavlou, P. A., and Fygenson, M., Understanding and predicting electronic commerce adoption: An extension of the theory of planned behavior. MIS Q. 30(1):115–143, 2006.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Konsynski, B., and Smith, H. A., Developments in practice x: Radio frequency identification (RFID) - an internet for physical objects. Commun. Assoc. Inf. Syst. 12(1):301–311, 2003.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bingi, P., Sharma, M. K., and Godla, J. K., Critical issues affecting an ERP implementation. Inf. Syst. Manag. 16(3):7–14, 1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Markus, M. L., Power, politics, and MIS implementation. Commun. ACM 26(2):430–444, 1983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Roberts, C. M., Radio frequency identification (RFID). Computers & Security 25(1):18–26, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Teo, T. S., Lin, S., and Lai, K. H., Adopters and non-adopters of e-procurement in Singapore: An empirical study. Omega-International Journal of Management Science 37(5):972–987, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chang, S. I., Hung, S. Y., Yen, D. C., and Chen, Y. J., The determinants of RFID adoption in the logistics industry - a supply chain management perspective. Commun. Assoc. Inf. Syst. 23(1):197–218, 2008.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rogers, E. M., Diffusion of innovations, 3rd edition. The Free Press, New York, 1983.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sharma, A., and Citurs, A., RFID adoption drivers: A radical innovation adoption perspective. Proceedings of the 11th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), Omaha, 2005.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Premkumar, G., and Roberts, M., Adoption of new information technologies in rural small businesses. Omega-International Journal of Management Science 27(4):467–484, 1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bardram, J. E., and Christensen, H. B., Pervasive computing support for hospitals: An overview of the activity-based computing project. IEEE Pervasive Computing 6(1):44–51, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Varshney, U., Pervasive healthcare: Applications, challenges and wireless solutions. Commun. Assoc. Inf. Syst. 16(1):52–72, 2005.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Tsai, M. C., Lee, W., and Wu, S. C., Determinants of RFID adoption intention: Evidence from Taiwanese retail chains. Information & Management 47(5–6):255–261, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ngai, E. W. T., Cheng, T. C. E., Au, S., and Lai, K. H., Mobile commerce integrated with RFID technology in a container depot. Decis. Support. Syst. 43(1):62–76, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Thiesse, F., RFID, privacy and the perception of risk: A strategic framework. J. Strateg. Inf. Syst. 16(2):214–232, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Krasnova, H., Weser, L., and Ivantysynova, L., Drivers of RFID adoption in the automotive industry. Proceedings of the AMCIS (American Conference on Information Systems), Toronto, 2008.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lian, J.W., Yen, D.C., Wang, Y.T., An exploratory study to understand the critical factors affecting the decision to adopt cloud computing in Taiwan hospital. International Journal of Information Management Available online 2013Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Weill, P., The relationship between investment in information technology and firm performance: A study of the valve manufacturing sector. Inf. Syst. Res. 3(4):307–333, 1992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Chang, I. C., Hwang, H. G., Hung, M. C., Lin, M. H., and Yen, D. C., Factors affecting the adoption of electronic signature: Executives’ perspective of hospital information department. Decis. Support. Syst. 44(1):350–359, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hung, S. Y., Hung, W. H., Tsai, C. A., and Jiang, S. C., Critical factors of hospital adoption on CRM system: Organizational and information system perspectives. Decis. Support. Syst. 48(4):592–603, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Madlberger, M., A model of antecedents of RFID adoption intention in the supply chain. Proceedings of the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Waikoloa, pp. 1–10, 2009.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Thong, J. Y. L., An integrated model of information system adoption in small business. J. Manag. Inf. Syst. 15(4):187–214, 1999.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Cragg, P. B., and King, M., Small-firm computing: Motivators and inhibitors. MIS Q. 17(1):47–60, 1993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Iacovou, C. L., Benbasat, I., and Dexter, A. S., Electronic data interchange and small organizations: Adoption and impact of technology. MIS Q. 19(4):465–485, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Wang, E. T. G., and Chen, J. H. F., Effects of internal support and consultant quality on the consulting process and ERP system quality. Decis. Support. Syst. 42(2):1029–1041, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    McLachlin, R. D., Factors for consulting engagement success. Manag. Decis. 37(5):394–402, 1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Newpeck, F. F., and Hallbauer, R. C., Some advice for the small business considering computer acquisition. J. Small Bus. Manag. 19(3):17–23, 1981.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Hossain, M.A., Quaddus, M., Impact of external environmental factors on RFID adoption in Australian livestock industry: An exploratory study, in Proceedings of the Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS), 2010. pp 1735–1742.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Thong, J. Y. L., Yap, C. S., and Raman, K. S., Top management support, external expertise and information systems implementation in small businesses. Inf. Syst. Res. 7(2):248–267, 1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Senn, J. A., and Gibson, V. R., Risks of investment in microcomputers for small business management. J. Small Bus. Manag. 19(3):24–32, 1981.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Thong, J. Y. L., and Yap, C. S., CEO characteristics, organizational characteristics and information technology adoption in small business. Omega-International Journal of Management Science 23(4):429–442, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Zhu, Y., Li, Y., Wang, W., and Chen, J., What leads to post-implementation success of ERP? An empirical study of the Chinese retail industry. Int. J. Inf. Manag. 30(3):265–276, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Robertson, T. S., and Gatignon, H., Competitive effects on technology diffusion. J. Mark. 50(3):1–12, 1986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Premkumar, G., and Ramamurthy, K., The role of interorganizational and organizational factors on the decision mode for adoption of interorganizational systems. Decis. Sci. 26(3):303–336, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Armstrong, J. S., and Overton, T. S., Estimating nonresponse bias in mail surveys. J. Mark. Res. 14(1):396–402, 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L., and Black, W. C., Multivariate data analysis. Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, 1998.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Fornell, C., and Larcker, D. F., Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. J. Mark. Res. 18(1):39–50, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Yi, M. Y., Jackson, J. D., Park, J. S., and Probst, J. C., Understanding information technology acceptance by individual professionals: Toward an integrative view. Information & Management 43(3):350–363, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Premkumar, G., Ramamurthy, K., and Nilakanta, S., Implementation of electronic data interchange: An innovation diffusion perspective. J. Manag. Inf. Syst. 11(2):157–186, 1994.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Moore, G. C., and Benbasat, I., Development of an instrument to measure the perceived characteristics of adopting an information technology innovation. Inf. Syst. Res. 2(3):192–222, 1991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Cases, A. S., Perceived risk and risk-reduction strategies in internet shopping. Distribution and Consumer Research 12(4):375–394, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Brown, I., and Russell, J., Radio frequency identification technology: An exploratory study on adoption in the south African retail sector. Int. J. Inf. Manag. 27(4):250–265, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information ManagementChienkuo Technology UniversityChanghuaRepublic of China
  2. 2.Department of Industrial Management and Institute of Health Industry ManagementNational Yunlin University of Science and TechnologyYunlinRepublic of China

Personalised recommendations