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Clin Biochem Rev. 2006 May;27(2):89-98.

Communication systems in healthcare.

Author information

1
Centre for Health Informatics, University of New South Wales, NSW, Australia. e.coiera@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

The care of patients now almost inevitably seems to involve many different individuals, all needing to share patient information and discuss their management. As a consequence there is increasing interest in, and use of, information and communication technologies to support health services. Yet, while there is significant discussion of, and investment in, information technologies, communication systems receive much less attention and the clinical adoption of even simpler services like voice-mail or electronic mail is still not commonplace in many health services. There remain enormous gaps in our broad understanding of the role of communication services in health care delivery. Laboratory medicine is perhaps even more poorly studied than many other areas, such as the interface between primary care and hospital services. Given this lack of specific information about laboratory communication services, this paper will step back and generally review the components of a communication system, including the basic concepts of a communication channel, service, device and interaction mode. The review will then try and summarise some of what is known about specific communication problems that arise across health services in the main, including the community and hospital service delivery.

PMID:
17077879
PMCID:
PMC1579411

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