Many hospital departments have implemented small clinical departmental systems (CDSs) to collect and use patient data for documentation as well as for other department-specific purposes. As hospitals are implementing institution-wide electronic patient records (EPRs), the EPR is thought to be integrated with, and gradually substitute the smaller systems. Many EPR systems however fail to support important clinical workflows. Also, successful integration of systems has proven hard to achieve. As a result, CDSs are still in widespread use. This study was conducted to see which tasks are supported by CDSs and to compare this to the support offered by the EPR.
Semi-structured interviews with users of 16 clinicians using 15 different CDSs at a Medium-sized University hospital in Norway. Inductive analysis of transcriptions from the audio taped interviews.
The roles of CDSs were complementary to those of the hospital-wide EPR system. The use of structured patient data was a characteristic feature. This facilitated quality development and supervision, tasks that were poorly supported by the EPR system. The structuring of the data also improved filtering of information to better support clinical decision-making. Because of the high value of the structured patient data, the users put much effort in maintaining their integrity and representativeness. Employees from the departments were also engaged in the funding, development, implementation and maintenance of the systems.
Clinical departmental systems are vital to the activities of a clinical hospital department. The development, implementation and clinical use of such systems can be seen as bottom-up, user-driven innovations.
Vedvik, Eivind, Aksel Tjora, and Arild Faxvaag. "Beyond the EPR: Complementary roles of the hospital-wide Electronic health record and Clinical department systems." BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 9, no. 1 (2009): 29. http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1472-6947-9-29.pdf. Â