An ethnographic study of health information technology use in three intensive care units.
As implementation of comprehensive health information technology (IT) systems becomes more widespread, concern regarding the unintended consequences of such technologies has increased as well. Usability testing is helpful for optimizing implementation of health IT. Researchers analyzed the impact of health IT use on relationships among clinicians over a year-long period across three academic intensive care units. In the two units with higher health IT use, clinicians were more likely to work in an isolated manner, which was associated with an adverse effect on situational awareness, communication, and patient satisfaction. A previous PSNet perspective discussed some of the pitfalls in the development, implementation, and regulation of health IT and what can be learned to improve patient safety going forward.