Communication in medical records : Intergroup language and patient care

Hewett, DG, Watson, BM, Gallois, C, Ward, M and Leggett, BA (2009) Communication in medical records : Intergroup language and patient care. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 28 2: 119-138. doi:10.1177/0261927X08330612

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Author Hewett, DG
Watson, BM
Gallois, C
Ward, M
Leggett, BA
Title Communication in medical records : Intergroup language and patient care
Journal name Journal of Language and Social Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0261-927X
Publication date 2009-06-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0261927X08330612
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 28
Issue 2
Start page 119
End page 138
Total pages 10
Editor Howard Giles
Place of publication United States
Publisher Sage Publications, Inc.
Language eng
Subject C1
970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
111711 Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance)
Abstract Communication failures in the complex environment of hospital care affect the quality of care and occurrence of inadvertent harm. This study investigated doctors' written communication using a sample of medical records, specifically doctors' progress notes, and the frameworks of social identity and communication accommodation theories. These records include standardized and stylized language, and are intended to record assessment and treatment of patients according to known guidelines for practice. An interpretive analysis of the language and discourse in these records revealed that doctors used medical record entries both to express their specialty identity and to negotiate intergroup conflict. Nonaccommodation and interspecialty conflict sometimes took precedence over facilitation of patient treatment and management. Thus, intergroup communication in this context can constitute a serious threat to the quality of patient care.
Formatted abstract
Communication failures in the complex environment of hospital care affect the quality of care and occurrence of inadvertent harm. This study investigated doctors' written communication using a sample of medical records, specifically doctors' progress notes, and the frameworks of social identity and communication accommodation theories. These records include standardized and stylized language, and are intended to record assessment and treatment of patients according to known guidelines for practice. An interpretive analysis of the language and discourse in these records revealed that doctors used medical record entries both to express their specialty identity and to negotiate intergroup conflict. Nonaccommodation and interspecialty conflict sometimes took precedence over facilitation of patient treatment and management. Thus, intergroup communication in this context can constitute a serious threat to the quality of patient care.
Keyword intergroup relations
patient safety
health
medical records
communication accommodation theory
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 38 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 31 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 18:11:38 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of Medicine - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital