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Research Corner: Ask the Author - The Impact of Visibility on Teamwork, Collaborative Communication, and Security in Emergency Departments: An Exploratory Study

Abstract:
The aim of this study was to examine the influence of visibility on teamwork, collaborative communication, and security issues in emergency departments (EDs). This research explored whether with high visibility in EDs, teamwork and collaborative communication can be improved while the security issues will be reduced. Visibility has been regarded as a critical design consideration and can be directly and considerably impacted by ED’s physical design. Teamwork is one of the major related operational outcomes of visibility and involves nurses, support staff, and physicians. The collaborative communication in an ED is another important factor in the process of care delivery and affects efficiency and safety. Furthermore, security is a behavioral factor in ED designs, which includes all types of safety including staff safety, patient safety, and the safety of visitors and family members. This qualitative study investigated the impact of visibility on teamwork, collaborative communication, and security issues in the ED. One-on-one interviews and on-site observation sessions were conducted in a community hospital. Corresponding data analysis was implemented by using computer plan analysis, observation and interview content, and theme analyses. The findings of this exploratory study provided a framework to identify visibility as an influential factor in ED design. High levels of visibility impact productivity and efficiency of teamwork and communication and improve the chance of lowering security issues. The findings of this study also contribute to the general body of knowledge about the effect of physical design on teamwork, collaborative communication, and security.