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Electronic health record, Interdisciplinary communication, Central venous catheters, Clinical decision making



  1. Thate, Jennifer A. PhD, RN, CNE
  2. Couture, Brittany BS
  3. Schnock, Kumiko O. PhD, RN
  4. Rossetti, Sarah Collins PhD, RN


It is clear that interdisciplinary communication and collaboration have the potential to mitigate healthcare-associated harm, yet there is limited research on how communication through documentation in the patient record can support collaborative decision making. Understanding what information is needed to support collaborative decision making is necessary to design electronic health information systems that facilitate effective communication and, ultimately, safe care. To explore this issue, we focused on information needs related to central venous catheter management and the prevention of central line-associated blood stream infections. Semistructured interviews were conducted with nurses working in an intensive care unit. Interview transcripts were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Three themes were identified: (1) challenges managing documentation in multiple places in the absence of formal documentation processes for central venous catheter management; (2) lack of standardized decision-making processes for managing central venous catheters; and (3) oral communication holds it together. Our findings provide a foundation for the development of EHR functional requirements that enhance communication regarding the management of central venous catheters and facilitate the prompt removal of unnecessary lines.