[Patient safety hazards resulting from information technology usage in outpatient oncology infusion centers: A prospective analysis of information management].

Affiliation

Stiftung für Patientensicherheit Schweiz, Zürich, Schweiz. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

OBJECTIVE : Thorough management of patient information is crucial in cancer care in order to avoid errors. Clinicians need complete, up-to-date information to be able to develop an adequate mental model of the patient's situation. The aim of the present study was to identify patient safety hazards coming with the use of health information technology (HIT): patient safety hazards in three outpatient oncology infusion centers were assessed and priority topics identified. Additionally, the number of information sources clinicians have to use in order to get an idea of the patient's situation was systematically assessed. Interviews and observations were conducted with one nurse and one doctor of each ambulatory infusion center.
RESULTS : Information management-related patient safety hazards were omnipresent in daily care: eleven topics were identified from 125 assessed patient safety hazards. Three of them were particularly relevant to the clinicians' development of an adequate mental model about the patient: patient-related information was not stored in one place but often fragmented in different HIT systems; despite the introduction of HIT, paper documentation remained in place for certain information, making access difficult and increasing the number of relevant sources; the lack of usability of the HIT systems made it difficult to retrieve patient information in a timely manner. Clinicians needed to use between 5 and 11 sources of information to get a more complete picture of a patient's situation.
CONCLUSIONS : Overall, it has been shown that the design of the HIT systems is not sufficiently adapted to the work processes and does not support clinicians in being fully informed about a patient. The topics identified point to future system design and areas for improvement. In this process, it is very important to align the real work requirements with the design of the HIT and to evaluate and monitor the actual implementation and use of HIT.

Keywords

Informationsmanagement,Medizinische Informatik,Onkologie,Patientensicherheit,hospital oncology,information management,medical informatics,patient safety,

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