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Nurse and Physician Perceptions and Decision Making During Interdisciplinary Communication: Factors That Influence Communication Channel Selection.

Errors in decision making and communication play a key role in poor patient outcomes. Safe patient care requires effective decision making during interdisciplinary communication through communication channels. Research on factors that influence nurse and physician decision making during interdisciplinary communication is limited. Understanding influences on nurse and physician decision making during communication channel selection is needed to support effective communication and improved patient outcomes. The purpose of the study was to explore nurse and physician perceptions of and decision-making processes for selecting interruptive or noninterruptive interdisciplinary communication channels in medical-surgical and intermediate acute care settings. Twenty-six participants (10 RNs, 10 resident physicians, and six attending physicians) participated in semistructured interviews in two acute care metropolitan hospitals for this qualitative descriptive study. The Practice Primed Decision Model guided interview question development and early data analysis. Findings include a core category, Development of Trust in the Communication Process, supported by three main themes: (1) Understanding of Patient Status Drives Communication Decision Making; (2) Previous Interdisciplinary Communication Experience Guides Channel Selection; and (3) Perceived Usefulness Influences Communication Channel Selection. Findings from this study provide support for future design and research of communication channels within the EHR and clinical decision support systems.

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