Communication behaviours in a hospital setting: An observational study

Enrico Coiera*, Vanessa Tombs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contributionpeer-review


A non-participatory, qualitative observation study involving eight physicians and two nurses was conducted at the UK district general hospital to identify patterns of communication behavior among hospital-based workers. Communication behaviors resulted in an interruptive work place, which appeared to contribute to work practice inefficiency. Medical staff generated twice as many interruptions via the telephone and paging system as they received. These results suggest a number of improvements to processes or technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHP Laboratories Technical Report
EditorsBrian W. Beach
Place of PublicationNorth Ryde, NSW
PublisherHwelett Packard Lab Technical Publ Dept
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


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