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Clinical handover improvement in context: Exploring tensions between user-centred approaches and standardisation


Wong, MC and Turner, P and Yee, KC, Clinical handover improvement in context: Exploring tensions between user-centred approaches and standardisation, Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 194 pp. 48-53. ISSN 1879-8365 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 The authors. This article is published online with Open Access by IOS Press and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License.

DOI: doi:10.3233/978-1-61499-293-6-48


User-centred approaches in the development and evaluation of health information systems promote the importance of involving users and understanding their social contexts to optimise the quality and safety of these systems for patient care. Simultaneously, the standardisation of clinical practices has also been advocated to improve the quality and safety of patient care. In the context of clinical handover improvement within three different departments in one tertiary teaching hospital, this paper highlights the potential for tensions between these two approaches and explores their implications. Based on a user-centred approach, the paper reports on the unique requirements identified within each of the three departments for an information system to support improved clinical handover. Each department had clinical practices, work cultures and user requirements that needed to be considered and accommodated. This led to the project developing distinct minimum data sets for each of the three departments that posed challenges for efforts to standardise handover practices across the hospital and for building an integrated information system. While on the one hand accommodating unique departmental user requirements was valuable, they revealed the potential for the introduction of quality and safety risks at the organisational level. To resolve these tensions, the project team developed an approach called flexible standardisation that has now been embedded in Australia' s national guidelines on clinical handover improvement.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:clinical handover, health informatics, safety & quality in health care, health information technology
Research Division:Information and Computing Sciences
Research Group:Information systems
Research Field:Information systems development methodologies and practice
Objective Division:Information and Communication Services
Objective Group:Information services
Objective Field:Electronic information storage and retrieval services
UTAS Author:Wong, MC (Dr Ming Wong)
UTAS Author:Turner, P (Associate Professor Paul Turner)
UTAS Author:Yee, KC (Dr Kwang Yee)
ID Code:89278
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Information and Communication Technology
Deposited On:2014-02-27
Last Modified:2015-02-12

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