Clinical team functioning and IT innovation: A study of the diffusion of a point-of care online evidence system

A. Sophie Gosling*, Johanna I. Westbrook, Jeffrey Braithwaite

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To investigate the association between clinical team functioning and diffusion (awareness, use, and impact) of a 24-hour online evidence retrieval system. To examine the relationships between clinical team characteristics and the adoption of the online evidence system. Design: 18 clinical teams, consisting of 180 clinicians from three Australian hospitals, were identified and studied. Teams were categorized as small (≤ 15 members) or large (> 15). Measurements: Clinical team functioning was assessed using the Team Climate Inventory (TCI). Awareness, use, and impact of an online evidence retrieval system were measured using a self-administered questionnaire. The relationships between TCI scores and awareness, use, and impact were examined using t-tests and one-way ANOVAs. Chi square analyses were used to examine differences between small and large teams. Results were interpreted within a diffusion of innovations framework. Results: Clinical team functioning was not related to awareness or use of the online evidence retrieval system. However, clinical team functioning was significantly associated with the impact of online evidence in terms of reported experience of improved patient care following system use. Clinicians in small teams (≤ 15 members) had higher levels of system awareness compared to large (> 15) teams. Conclusions: Team functioning had the greatest impact on the fourth stage of innovation diffusion, the effective use of online evidence for clinical care. This supports Rogers' diffusion of innovation theory, to the effect that different types of communication about an innovation are important at different stages in the diffusion process. Members of small teams were more aware of the system than members of large teams. Team functioning is amenable to improvement through interventions. The findings suggest that the role of team climate in the diffusion of information systems is a promising area for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical team functioning and IT innovation: A study of the diffusion of a point-of care online evidence system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this