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Communication Patterns in Outpatient Clinics
Very little research has been directed at how healthcare buildings could be configured to better support intra and inter-care team communication, despite the fact that communication breakdowns are generally blamed for more than half of all medical errors - with some claiming that miscommunication is ultimately attributable to as much as 90% of medical errors. This collaborative research project therefore compared communication patterns amongst the clinicians in 5 related outpatient clinics in two different hospitals in Canada and the Netherlands. By necessity, in the Canadian case study hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, outpatient clinics have been developed in isolated locations over time wherever space became available. By design in the second case study, and to an extent unparalleled amongst contemporary hospitals, the hospital in the Netherlands configured its outpatient clinics to optimize the potential for face-to-face clinician communication, both within and between care teams. Clinicians in this case are served by an advanced and fully integrated Healthcare ICT (Information and Communication Technology) system. The research combined a Space Syntax Analysis of floor plans, direct observation of the routines of selected caregivers and a survey-based Social Network Analysis to understand communication networks within knowledge organizations.
1 Researchers
2 External Collaborators
  • Ms Darlene MacKinnon
    Providence Healthcare - Canada
  • Mr Ray Pradinuk
    Stantec Architecture Ltd - Canada
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Status: Complete
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University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

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