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Interprofessional Information Work: Innovations in the Use of the Chart on Internal Medicine Teams
Journal of Interprofessional Care (2007)
  • Lorelei Lingard, University of Toronto
  • Lesley Gotlib Conn, University of Toronto
  • Ann Russell, University of Toronto
  • Scott Reeves, University of Toronto
  • Karen-Lee Miller, University of Toronto
  • Chris Kenaszchuk, University of Toronto
  • Merrick Zwarenstein, University of Toronto

An abundance of evidence suggests that communication in interprofessional healthcare teams is a complex endeavour. Even relatively simple communication processes involving information work - the gathering, storage, retrieval and discussion of patient information - may be fraught with pitfalls, and yet teams manage to conduct their daily information work, often with a high degree of effectiveness. In this article, we explore one commonplace dimension of information work - the use of patient charts to foster collaborative decision-making and care enactment - towards building an elaborated understanding of how teams innovate in the face of daily complexities in their information work processes. Drawing on results from an ethnographic study of team communication in two internal medicine inpatient wards, we describe the nature and use of patient charts, analyze recurrent problems, and explore adaptive strategies for carrying on team information work in the face of daily barriers.

  • Cultural Anthropology,
  • Communication,
  • Information Storage and Retrieval,
  • Interprofessional Relations,
  • Patient Care Team
Publication Date
December, 2007
Publisher Statement

Dr. Lorelei Lingard is currently a faculty member at The University of Western Ontario.

Citation Information
Lorelei Lingard, Lesley Gotlib Conn, Ann Russell, Scott Reeves, et al.. "Interprofessional Information Work: Innovations in the Use of the Chart on Internal Medicine Teams" Journal of Interprofessional Care Vol. 21 Iss. 6 (2007)
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