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Qualitative Analysis of Team Communication with a Clinical Texting System at a Midwestern Academic HospitalFunding This work was supported by the cross-center pilot award of the Regenstrief Institute, Inc., and the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, via the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (grant numbers UL1TR001108 and UL1TR002529).
Background Hospitals are increasingly replacing pagers with clinical texting systems that allow users to use smartphones to send messages while maintaining compliance for privacy and security. As more institutions adopt such systems, the need to understand the impact of such transitions on team communication becomes ever more significant.
Methods We conducted focus groups with hospitalists and individual interviews with nurses at one academic medical center in the Midwest. All interviews and focus groups were audiorecorded, transcribed, and deidentified for analysis. All transcripts and notes were independently read by two members of the research team and coded for themes.
Results Twenty-one hospitalists and eight nurses participated in the study. Although study participants spoke favorably of texting, they identified more dissatisfactions with texting than benefits. There were disagreements regarding appropriate texting practices both within and between the hospitalists and nurses.
Conclusion Despite the benefits of texting, there is room for improving team communication and understanding in the realm of clinical texting. A lack of shared understanding regarding when and how to use texting may require long-term solutions that address teamwork and appropriateness.
Protection of Human and Animal Subjects
The study was performed in compliance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects, and was reviewed by the Indiana University Institutional Review Board.
Received: 29 September 2021
Accepted: 06 February 2022
Article published online:
16 March 2022
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