In this mini case study, I conducted an exploratory investigation into the collaborative information-behavior of two family physicians in a shared-care practice. My focus was on the use of electronic medical records (EMR) in this context, and their effectiveness in supporting information sharing between two different physicians who share responsibility for patient care.
I conducted separate interviews with each physician, as well as a think-aloud observation in which one of the physicians walked me through the day to day use of their EMR system. I transcribed and coded my interviews, which I then categorized into themes and patterns in order to understand the types of information exchange by the physicians, the process of the information flow, and the types of breakdowns they encountered. I developed a model of the information flow of a shared-care practice that characterizes recording, retrieving and sharing activities. I also identifed a number of breakdowns in which electronic medical records (EMRs) interfere with the ideal information flow, which resulted in acts of direct information-sharing that added considerably to the physician’s workload.
methods and tools
transcript coding and categorization
case study report [pdf]