Theses Doctoral

A Team-Based Approach to Studying Complex Healthcare Processes

Jiang, Silis Y.

Communication is a critical aspect of clinical work. In 2010, the Joint Commission (JC) found that gaps in communication were among leading factors contributing to medical errors. Healthcare processes, such as patient discharge, depend on interdisciplinary communication to be successful. Electronic health records (EHRs) have the potential to facilitate communication and information sharing between interdisciplinary care team members; however, challenges remain in designing tools for team-based care and questions remain in understanding how EHRs impact interdisciplinary team communication. This dissertation focuses on understanding how EHRs can be designed to support communication and information sharing within interdisciplinary patient care teams. The first aim of the dissertation investigated how EHRs impact interdisciplinary clinical teams’ communication, shared mental models, and information sharing activities. The results showed that implementing new EHR tools appeared to have little impact on communication and shared mental models, but new information sharing activities mediated by EHR developed. These changes and lack thereof suggest that new EHR tools will be specifically needed to facilitate interdisciplinary team information sharing activities. The second aim of the dissertation investigates the information sharing activities and information needs of interdisciplinary team members during patient discharge. The results showed that the information clinicians sought out during discharge depended on the roles that person played as well as the progress of the discharge process. Future EHR tools should be aware of how patient care teams are progressing through the patient discharge process in order to provide information contextualized to their current tasks. In conclusion, interdisciplinary team communication and information sharing remain poorly supported by current EHRs and new tools designed specifically for interdisciplinary teams should provide information based on the completion of team activities.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Biomedical Informatics
Thesis Advisors
Mamykina, Lena
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 23, 2017