Digital technologies in clinical care: does communication have to be relearned?

High quality care depends on complete and up-to-date patient information being readily available at all times. Digital communication tools can be of great help in this context. The project investigated how digital means of communication were used in actual work situations in hospitals and what further training was required.

  • Project description (completed research project)

    Dropdown Icon

    The research team investigated whether and how professional communication within care teams changed due to the use of digital aids. To this end, they observed how nursing professionals shared patient-relevant information using these tools. In a next step, the research team asked about their experiences. Their answers helped the scientist to identify typical situations that are perceived as significant from a technological point of view and/or with regard to required professional skills. Based on this information and in collaboration with education experts, they developed videos for training and continuing education purposes. These findings also served as a basis for the development of technical alternatives.

  • Background

    Dropdown Icon

    Studies on the direct effects of digitalization on care-related activities had already been conducted. However, little was currently known about communication in real work situations and experiences using digital aids.

  • Aim

    Dropdown Icon

    In a first step, the research team pinpointed and documented situations in which nursing professionals used digital communication tools. They then determined the skills these people required to be able to optimally pass on patient information and knowledge. Based on these findings, the researchers developed educational material for the training and further education of nursing staff. They also aimed to single out areas in which information and communication technologies could provide even better support for nursing activities.

  • Relevance

    Dropdown Icon

    This project defined the optimal use of digital aids for the sharing of clinical information within nursing teams. Based on actual work practice and experience, the research team could improve training and continuing education in nursing. The results of their research can be used in medical computer sciences to optimally adapt the design of digital tools to nursing practice.

  • Result

    Dropdown Icon

    Three main messages

    1. Digitalisation in healthcare is changing the way nurses and healthcare teams share PCI. While oral and paper forms of information transmission are still present in hospitals, the use of CIS and other digital devices impacts the competence requirements for nurses and healthcare teams. Applying a work analysis approach, in this study, researchers identified typical example situations of PCI transmission with digital devices in a hospital context and situated digital competencies nurses need to successfully cope with these situations.
    2. Digitalisation in healthcare leads to IT-related events perceived by nurses and healthcare teams as ‘critical incidents’ and interruptions in the anticipated workflow. In this study, researchers observed various types of IT-related events that can disrupt digital PCI transmission. These include technical, usability and workflow-related problems.
    3. Digitalisation in healthcare and the associated digital competence requirements necessitate training tools that enable nurses to develop digital competencies. Technical solutions for an improved workflow and better usability are also required. Both prototypes of training tools that are close to real work and improved technical solutions were developed in this project.

    All the results are available via the project websiteExternal Link Icon.

  • Original title

    Dropdown Icon

    Digitalisation and transmission of clinical information in nursing: implications and perspectives (digi-care)