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Cognition, Technology & Work

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 219–231 | Cite as

Care transitions in the outpatient surgery preoperative process: facilitators and obstacles to information flow and their consequences

  • Kara SchultzEmail author
  • Pascale Carayon
  • Ann Schoofs Hundt
  • Scott R. Springman
Original Article

Abstract

Patient care transitions have been shown to be critical points at which failure as well as recovery from potential failure may occur. The purpose of this research was to identify transitions in patient care and the flow of associated information at different steps in the outpatient surgery preoperative care process and, in turn, attempt to identify breakdowns in the information flow process and their ramifications. A study of one organization’s preoperative process for outpatient surgery was conducted, employing four means of data collection to gather information on preoperative work processes: employee shadowing, patient shadowing, clinic observation, and dictated feedback. Various facilitators and obstacles in information flow were found to be present in the preoperative care process. Obstacles often resulted in negative consequences for healthcare providers and patients. Helping care providers understand how their actions affect the various elements of the preoperative process, through improved awareness, may be one way to improve information flow problems within the outpatient surgery process.

Keywords

Transitions of care Handoffs Patient safety Awareness Outpatient surgery 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Funding provided by AHRQ Grant # P20 HS11561-01 (PI: Pascale Carayon) and AHRQ Institutional Training Grant #HS000083 (PI: Dennis Fryback).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kara Schultz
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pascale Carayon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ann Schoofs Hundt
    • 2
  • Scott R. Springman
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Systems EngineeringUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Quality and Productivity ImprovementUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA

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