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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3745

Title: Key decision points in emergency medical care
Authors: Gallagher Gordon, Mary
Gasson, Susan
Keywords: Medical informatics
Issue Date: 23-Apr-2009
Series/Report no.: IST Research Day 2009 posters
Abstract: Information systems that can offer point of care resources, just-in-time learning, and decision support at the point of need are critical to the medication administration process. Healthcare information systems can assist with the collection of, distribution, and access to patient health records and can provide clinical decision support across a wide range of contexts. But there is a disconnect between the integrative potential for healthcare systems and their use in practice. Various medical organizations operate in unique ways. Healthcare information systems are designed to conform with local culture, practices and information collection methods. It is difficult to share information between organizations and it is frequently difficult to share information between systems designed for different purposes within the same organization. Yet ease of information-sharing is a key requirement for patient safety. Research on IT-supported healthcare information systems has found that their use can improve patient safety, but that they do not reduce the time spent on administering medical care: they may increase the time demands of information collection and access. These time demands pose a risk to patient care and provide a disincentive to healthcare systems use. They result from a lack of attention to information needs and workflow support by designers of IT systems. The Research Study This study reports on an ethnographic study of key decision-points in the Emergency Department of a large city hospital. We identify key decision-points in emergency care, then analyze the information needs of each key decision point using the Goal-Question-Metric approach used by Yashiko & Basili (1997), to relate formal goals for successful risk-management to informal and implicit goals. We identify the availability of information required at each decision-point, analyzing the contribution of formal, HIT information systems in meeting these needs. The findings will allow us to identify key elements in information gathering, dissemination, and access that control patient risk and safety in emergency medical care. As a result, we will suggest improvements to both formal and informal systems of information in emergency care.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3745
Appears in Collections:Research Day Posters (IST)

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