Examining Diurnal Differences in Multidisciplinary Care Teams at a Pediatric Trauma Center Using Electronic Health Record Data: Social Network Analysis

J Med Internet Res. 2022 Feb 4;24(2):e30351. doi: 10.2196/30351.


Background: The care of pediatric trauma patients is delivered by multidisciplinary care teams with high fluidity that may vary in composition and organization depending on the time of day.

Objective: This study aims to identify and describe diurnal variations in multidisciplinary care teams taking care of pediatric trauma patients using social network analysis on electronic health record (EHR) data.

Methods: Metadata of clinical activities were extracted from the EHR and processed into an event log, which was divided into 6 different event logs based on shift (day or night) and location (emergency department, pediatric intensive care unit, and floor). Social networks were constructed from each event log by creating an edge among the functional roles captured within a similar time interval during a shift. Overlapping communities were identified from the social networks. Day and night network structures for each care location were compared and validated via comparison with secondary analysis of qualitatively derived care team data, obtained through semistructured interviews; and member-checking interviews with clinicians.

Results: There were 413 encounters in the 1-year study period, with 65.9% (272/413) and 34.1% (141/413) beginning during day and night shifts, respectively. A single community was identified at all locations during the day and in the pediatric intensive care unit at night, whereas multiple communities corresponding to individual specialty services were identified in the emergency department and on the floor at night. Members of the trauma service belonged to all communities, suggesting that they were responsible for care coordination. Health care professionals found the networks to be largely accurate representations of the composition of the care teams and the interactions among them.

Conclusions: Social network analysis was successfully used on EHR data to identify and describe diurnal differences in the composition and organization of multidisciplinary care teams at a pediatric trauma center.

Keywords: electronic health record; fluid teams; multi-team systems; multidisciplinary health team; pediatric trauma; process mining; social network analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Electronic Health Records*
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Trauma Centers*