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Title: A qualitative study of workflow and information systems within Emergency Departments in the UK
Author: Mazlan, Eliza
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 4513
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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Background: Health Information Technology (HIT) has the potential to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery and reduce costs. However, the integration of HIT into healthcare workflows has experienced a range of issues during its implementation. It can adversely impact healthcare workflows, therefore reducing efficiency and safety in healthcare delivery. As healthcare settings are characterised by its own workflow, an in-depth understanding of the workflows of where the HIT to be implemented is crucial in order to avoid complexities that can arise. As there is a lack of research investigating an overall ED workflow, both clinical and non-clinical processes and practices, this research aims to gain an in-depth understanding of emergency care workflow which includes the work processes and practices of its clinicians and non-clinicians and its information artefacts. Methodology: This research employed a fieldwork case study approach analysing the work processes and practices of clinicians and non-clinicians in the delivery of emergency care. The approach was used in order to capture the situated nature of the ED workflow. The study was conducted in two emergency care settings located in the UK. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, non-participant observations and documents. A multiple triangulation technique: data triangulation and within-methods triangulation were employed in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the topic. The data were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings: The emergency care workflow consisted of multidisciplinary ED team members’ work processes. These work processes were comprised of collaborative clinical and non-clinical tasks and activities in delivering care treatment governed and defined by time-related activities, organisational rules, exceptions and variability. The workflow was supported by both computerised systems and non-computerised information artefacts, such as non-electronic whiteboards and paper-based records and forms, which needed to be used in conjunction with each other. Additionally, the hybrid implementation had also been utilised to support collaborative work of the clinicians and non-clinicians, hence giving the implication that HIT systems should not be designed as purely technical system focusing on single users, but also as a collaborative work system. Conclusion: An ED workflow consists of interrelated care processes, clinical and non-clinical processes. These processes are executed semi-autonomously by clinicians and non-clinicians and governed by time-related organisational constraints, variable and exception-filled, relying on hybrid information architecture. The architecture presented workflow with a number of integration issues. However, its implementation does not only support the functionalities for the delivery of emergency care processes but also the collaborative practices of the clinicians and non-clinicians.
Supervisor: Bath, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available