Diffusion of innovation: Computer technology in hospital pharmacy

W. C. Browning, P. D. Hurd, J. L. Bootman, D. A. Tansik, W. F. McGhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The diffusion of computer technology in hospital pharmacy departments was studied by surveying pharmacy directors in a randomly selected sample of 501 hospitals in the United States with at least 100 beds. Pharmacy directors were asked to indicate for which of 17 tasks a computer or memory typewriter was used in the pharmacy department. The time of first adopting computers in the department was compared with the predicted S adoption curve; adoption time was also correlated with characteristics of the hospital, pharmacy, and pharmacy director. Of the 417 respondents, 308 reported use of a memory typewriter or computer in the pharmacy. Fifty-one directors reported only memory-typewriter use, and 94 reported both computer and memory-typewriter use. Maintenance of patient census lists and patient billing were the most frequent uses of computers. The primary uses of memory typewriters were preparation of letters and labels. There was no significant difference in the actual and predicted S curves for time of adoption of computers. The number of months since first adopting computers was positively correlated with hospital bed size and the pharmacy director's number of years as a pharmacist, years in current position and with current employer, and number of subordinates; it was also positively correlated with number of pharmaceutical services and number of computer uses in the department. Computer technology is becoming more universally accepted in hospital pharmacy, and research on the diffusion of innovations suggests that acceptance will continue to increase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2343-2347
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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