Using ORA to explore the relationship of nursing unit communication to patient safety and quality outcomes

Judith A. Effken, Kathleen M. Carley, Sheila Gephart, Joyce A. Verran, Denise Bianchi, Jeff Reminga, Barbara B. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

We used ORA, a dynamic network analysis tool, to identify patient care unit communication patterns associated with patient safety and quality outcomes. Although ORA had previously had limited use in healthcare, we felt it could effectively model communication on patient care units. Methods: Using a survey methodology, we collected communication network data from nursing staff on seven patient care units on two different days. Patient outcome data were collected via a separate survey. Results of the staff survey were used to represent the communication networks for each unit in ORA. We then used ORA's analysis capability to generate communication metrics for each unit. ORA's visualization capability was used to better understand the metrics. Results: We identified communication patterns that correlated with two safety (falls and medication errors) and three quality (e.g., symptom management, complex self care, and patient satisfaction) outcome measures. Communication patterns differed substantially by shift. Conclusion: The results demonstrate the utility of ORA for healthcare research and the relationship of nursing unit communication patterns to patient safety and quality outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-517
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Volume80
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

Keywords

  • Communication networks
  • Informatics
  • Nursing
  • ORA
  • Quality
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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