Identifying patient-related information problems: A study of information use by patient-care teams during morning rounds

Alison R. Murphy, Madhu C. Reddy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective This study identifies the types of patient-related information problems (PIPs) that patient-care teams encounter during morning rounds, and how those PIPs are identified and managed. PIPs are any issues related to patient information (e.g., wrong, missing, incomplete information) that affect the patient-care team's ability to perform their work. Not addressing PIPs can lead to workflow challenges, delayed patient-care decisions, and negative impacts to the patient. Materials and methods We employed qualitative data collection methods by shadowing patient-care teams during 29 morning rounds resulting in 155 h of observation. We observed the interactions between the rounding physicians and other patient-care team members, including: nurses, consulting physicians, care coordinators, pharmacists, social workers, and therapists. Results This study resulted in identifying seven types of PIPs that occur during morning rounds. Additionally, the study presents the different ways that participants identified and managed the PIPs. Discussion We discuss the potential negative effects of PIPs on the patient-care workflow. We also discuss socio-technical recommendations for organizational policies and training, as well as electronic health record (EHR) design improvements that could help patient-care teams more effectively identify and manage PIPs. Conclusion Hospital teams rely on accurate, available, and up-to-date information in order to make informed decisions on patient care. However, PIPs exist in EHR systems, paper documents, and verbal conversations. This study identifies a set of PIPs and how they are currently being identified and managed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-102
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Interdisciplinary communication
  • Morning rounds
  • Patient care team
  • Patient-related information problems
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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