Persistence of clinical questions across shifts on an intensive care unit: an observational pilot study
Woodson, Sue M.
Roderer, Nancy K.
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How do clinical questions emerge and move toward resolution in the intensive care setting over the course of 24 hours? In a 20-bed surgical intensive care unit in a large, tertiary-care teaching hospital, informationists shadowed clinicians for 2 48-hour periods to record questions, noting when they were asked and whether they were answered. Thirty-eight percent of 112 recorded questions remained unanswered. Some unanswered questions persisted across shifts, and clinicians' information-seeking behaviors changed over time. Clinical information services can be improved and integrated more fully into clinical workflows based on a fuller understanding of the life cycle of clinical inquiry.