The medication advice-seeking network of staff in an Australian hospital renal ward

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2007:130:217-31.


Electronic medication systems may impact communication in hospital wards. To identify the ways in which communication patterns may be altered it is necessary to compare processes both before and after system introduction. This paper reports the use of a social network approach to examine the medication advice-seeking network of an Australian hospital renal ward before the introduction of an electronic medication management system. A social network questionnaire was completed by 96% of staff members (doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and administrative staff) on the ward (n=45). Survey data were analysed to produce a sociogram to display the medication advice-seeking network of the staff in the ward. The results showed that there was a relatively low level of advice-seeking about medication-related decisions and tasks. Most communication occurred within professional groups. Several key individuals were pivotal in providing advice both within and across professional groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Communication*
  • Health Personnel*
  • Hospital Departments / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations