Inadequate communication is a factor in suboptimal junior doctor management of deteriorating ward patients. Junior doctors’ information and communication technology (ICT) systems are not the sole cause or cure for this. However, junior doctors are already dissatisfied with existing technologies for general hospital communication. The Deterioration Communication Management Theory (DCMT) provides a means to approach these issues by uniting two themes: 1) factors affecting the properties of ICT used to communicate to junior doctors; and 2) factors affecting junior doctor interpretation of communication about deteriorating hospital patients. ICT factors include how the combination of physical devices and mode of usage affect user perception of system reliability and efficiency. Junior doctors interpret clinician communication about patient deterioration in terms of risk, which is affected by their contextual responsibility and experience. Perceived risk and contextual experience in turn affects their communication efficiency. Combining these themes gives more options to explain junior doctor communication in this clinical context and to design ICT systems to improve it.
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