Reshaping ICU ward round practices using video-reflexive ethnography

Qual Health Res. 2008 Mar;18(3):380-90. doi: 10.1177/1049732307313430.


In this article, we outline a study method with which structural changes to clinical communication were achieved within a local intensive care unit (ICU). The study method involved in-depth, round-the-clock observation, interviewing, and video filming of how intensivists conducted their practices, as well as showing selected footage to the clinicians for feedback. This feedback component iteratively engaged clinicians in problem-solving their own communication difficulties. The article focuses on one such feedback meeting and describes changes to the morning ward round and planning meeting that this feedback process catalyzed: greater time efficiency, a greater presence of intensivists in the ICU, more satisfied nursing staff, and a handover sheet to improve the structure of clinical information exchanges. We argue that in embodying not a descriptive but an interventionist approach to health service provision, this video-ethnographic method has great significance for enhancing clinicians' and researchers' understanding of the rising complexity of in-hospital practices, and for enabling them to intervene in these practices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropology, Cultural
  • Communication*
  • Hospital Administration*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / organization & administration*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Video Recording*