A model of awareness to enhance our understanding of interprofessional collaborative care delivery and health information system design to support it

Int J Med Inform. 2011 Aug;80(8):e150-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2011.01.009. Epub 2011 Feb 12.


Background: As more healthcare delivery is provided by collaborative teams there is a need for enhanced design of health information systems (HISs) to support collaborative care delivery. The purpose of this study was to develop a model of the different types of awareness that exist in interprofessional collaborative care (ICC) delivery to inform HIS design to support ICC.

Methods: Qualitative data collection and analysis was done. The data sources consisted of 90 h of non-participant observations and 30 interviews with nurses, physicians, medical residents, volunteers, and personal support workers.

Results: Many of the macro-level ICC activities (e.g. morning rounds, shift change) were constituted by micro-level activities that involved different types of awareness. We identified four primary types of ICC awareness: patient, team member, decision making, and environment. Each type of awareness is discussed and supported by study data. We also discuss implication of our findings for enhanced design of existing HISs as well as providing insight on how HISs could be better designed to support ICC awareness.

Conclusion: Awareness is a complex yet crucial piece of successful ICC. The information sources that provided and supported ICC awareness were varied. The different types of awareness from the model can help us understand the explicit details of how care providers communicate and exchange information with one another. Increased understanding of ICC awareness can assist with the design and evaluation of HISs to support collaborative activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Awareness*
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Information Systems*
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Models, Theoretical*