Objective: The purpose of this study is to identify challenges to inter-departmental coordination activities that affect patient transfer workflow and to provide socio-technical requirements for the design of technologies to better support patient transfer workflow.
Design: We conducted our study in two clinical and one non-clinical department at a major academic hospital. We utilized qualitative data collection techniques including observations of patient transfer practices of the different departments and interviews with departmental staff to collect data on the inter-departmental coordination activities and its effect on patient transfer workflow.
Results: We identified three inter-departmental challenges that affected the patient transfer workflow: ineffective inter-departmental interactions, ineffective information handoffs, and ineffectiveness of current information technologies.
Discussion: To address these challenges, we discuss three socio-technical design requirements that designers need to pay attention to while developing inter-departmental healthcare information systems. To ensure effective inter-departmental coordination, the systems should incorporate features that can support the mediating role of integrators, the collaborative balancing of goals, and the collaborative prioritization of resources.
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