Comparing the information seeking strategies of residents, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in critical care settings.

Thomas G. Kannampallil, Laura K. Jones, Vimla L. Patel, Timothy G. Buchman, Amy Franklin

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16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Critical care environments are information-intensive environments where effective decisions are predicated on successfully finding and using the 'right information at the right time'. We characterize the differences in processes and strategies of information seeking between residents, nurse practitioners (NPs), and physician assistants (PAs). We conducted an exploratory study in the cardiothoracic intensive care units of two large academic hospitals within the same healthcare system. Clinicians (residents (n=5), NPs (n=5), and PAs (n=5)) were shadowed as they gathered information on patients in preparation for clinical rounds. Information seeking activities on 96 patients were collected over a period of 3 months (NRes=37, NNP=24, NPA=35 patients). The sources of information and time spent gathering the information at each source were recorded. Exploratory data analysis using probabilistic sequential approaches was used to analyze the data. Residents predominantly used a patient-based information seeking strategy in which all relevant information was aggregated for one patient at a time. In contrast, NPs and PAs primarily utilized a source-based information seeking strategy in which similar (or equivalent) information was aggregated for multiple patients at a time (eg, X-rays for all patients). The differences in the information seeking strategies are potentially a result of the differences in clinical training, strategies of managing cognitive load, and the nature of the use of available health IT tools. Further research is needed to investigate the effects of these differences on clinical and process outcomes. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e249-256
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA
Volume21
Issue numbere2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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