Purdue University Graduate School
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posted on 2023-04-26, 18:45 authored by Jianing DingJianing Ding

Fundamental changes have been happening in healthcare organizations and delivery in these decades, including more accessible physician information, the low-cost collection and sharing of clinical records, and decision support systems, among others. Emerging information systems and technologies play a signification role in these transformations. To extend the understanding and the implications of information systems on healthcare, my dissertation investigates the influence of information systems on enhancing healthcare operations. The findings reveal the practical value of digitalization in indicating healthcare providers' cognitive behaviors, responding to healthcare crises, and improving medical performance.

The first essay investigates the unrevealed value of a special type of user-generated content in healthcare operations. In today's social media world, individuals are willing to express themselves on various online platforms. This user-generated content posted online help readers get easy assess to individuals' features, including but not limited to personality traits. To study the impact of physicians' personality traits on medicine behaviours and performance, we take a view from the perspective of user generated content posted by their supplier side as well as using physician statements which have been made available in medical review websites. It has been found that a higher openness score leads to lower mortality rates, reduced lab test costs, shorter time usage in hospitals treated by physicians with greater openness scores. Furthermore, taking these personality traits into consideration in an optimization problem of ED scheduling, the estimation of counterfactual analysis shows an average of 11.4%, 18.4%, and 17.8% reduction in in-hospital mortality rates, lab test expenditures, and lengths of stay, respectively. In future operation of healthcare, physicians' personalities should be taken into account when healthcare resources are insufficient in times of healthcare pandemics like COVID-19, as our study indicates that health service providers personality is an actual influence on clinical quality.

In the second essay, we focus on the influences of the most severe healthcare pandemic in these decades, COVID-19, on digital goods consumption and examine whether digital goods consumption is resilient to an individual’s physical restriction induced by the pandemic. Leveraging the enforced quarantine policy during the COVID-19 pandemic as a quasi-experiment, we identify the influence of a specific factor, quarantine policy, on mobile app consumption in every Apple app store category in the short and long terms. In the perspective of better responding in the post-pandemic era, the quantitative findings provide managerial implications to the app industry as well as the stock market for accurately understanding the long-term impact of a significant intervention, quarantine, in the pandemic. Moreover, by using the conditional exogenous quarantine policy to instrument app users’ daily movement patterns, we are able to further investigate the digital resilience of physical mobility in different app categories and quantify the impact of an individual’s physical mobility on human behavior in app usage. For results, we find that the reduction in 10% of one’s physical mobility (measured in the radius of gyration) leads to a 2.68% increase in general app usage and a 5.44% rise in app usage time dispersion, suggesting practitioners should consider users’ physical mobility in future mobile app design, pricing, and marketing.

In the third essay, we investigate the role of an emerging AI-based clinical treatment method, robot-assisted surgery (RAS), in transforming the healthcare delivery. As an advanced technique to help diminish the human physical and intellectual limitations in surgeries, RAS is expected to but has not been empirically proven to improve clinical performance. In this work, we first investigate the effect of RAS on clinical outcomes, controlling physicians' self-selection behavior in choosing whether or not to use RAS treatment methods. In particular, we focus on the accessibility of RAS and explore how physician and patient heterogeneity affect the adoption of the RAS method, including learning RAS and using RAS. Investigating the decision-making process on RAS implementation in both the learning and using stages, we show the synergy of RAS implementation in alleviating healthcare racial disparity. Ultimately, the mechanism analysis will be conducted to reveal the underlying mechanism that induces the enhancement of surgical outcomes. For instance, the estimations tend to reveal that, more than surging clinical performance, RAS tends to increase standardization in time and steps when applying the treatment procedures. 


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Management

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Susan Feng Lu

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Jinyang Zheng

Additional Committee Member 2

Karthik Kannan

Additional Committee Member 3

Zaiyan Wei