Communication Breakdowns between Nurses and IT Department: Why Hospitals Fail at Improving the Usability of Health Information Technology


  • Diane Golay Uppsala University
  • Åsa Cajander Uppsala University
  • Deman Hussein Uppsala University
  • Ali Azeez Karolinska Institutet
  • Stefano Bonacina Karolinska Institutet



End User Involvement, Health Information Technology, IT Department, Nurses, User-Centred Design


Often, Health Information Technology (HIT) in hospitals consists of off the shelf systems that are configured and implemented by IT department workers. This means that these employees have a significant impact of the usability of HIT systems. Nonetheless, we currently do not know how IT department workers work. This prevents us from formulating educated recommendations aimed at improving HIT usability, known to be poor, especially from nurses’ perspective. In this paper, we hence present the results from an interview study, shedding light on 1) the communication channels that exist between nurses and IT department at a large public hospital in Sweden, and 2) the problems that undermine system-related communication between these two groups. Our findings stress the need for successful two-way communication between nurses and IT department in order to improve the usability of HIT in use.


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