Organizational determinants of information transfer in palliative care teams : a structural equation modeling approach
Several organizational factors facilitate or hinder information transfer in palliative care teams. According to past research, organizational factors that reduce information transfer include the inconsistent use of shared electronic patient files, frequent changes of healthcare staff, a lack of opportunities for personal exchange, and a lack of evaluation of collaborative processes. Insufficient information sharing between professionals can negatively impact patient safety, whereas studies have
... shown that some organizational factors improve collaboration between professionals and thus contribute to improved patient outcomes. The main purpose of this study is thus to investigate whether, and if so how, organizational factors contribute to successful information exchange in palliative care teams in Switzerland, while also accounting for the different care contexts of primary and specialized palliative care. A nationwide survey was aimed at medical professionals working in palliative care. In total, 379 participants (mean age = 49.8 years, SD = 10.3) were included in this study. Two main outcome variables were examined: healthcare providers' satisfaction with information transfer in their team and their overall satisfaction with communication in their team. Hypotheses were tested by employing structural equation modeling. Findings revealed that the strongest predictors for effective information transfer in palliative care teams were sufficient opportunities for face-to-face meetings and supervision alongside feedback tools to improve collaborative practices and the application of guidelines and standards for collaboration. Face-to-face meetings were an even greater contributor to information transfer in specialized settings, whereas sharing the same work-based values with colleagues was considered more important in primary settings. Results from this study contribute to the existing literature elucidating how information transfer is facilitated in the field of palliative care. If proposed measures are implemented, this could possibly improve patient outcomes in palliative care. Furthermore, the findings can be useful for healthcare organizations and associations to make more efficient resource allocation decisions with the aim to optimize information transfer within the workforce. H2a. The more frequently information is exchanged in the team, the more satisfied are care providers with communication (β = 0.27, p<0.001). H2b. A clear division of responsibility within the team positively predicted providers' satisfaction with communications (β = 0.10, p<0.032). H2c. When colleagues felt that they shared the same values, this was positively associated with their satisfaction with communication (β = 0.32, p < 0.001) as well as their satisfaction with work-related tasks (β = 0.37, p < 0.001). Exploratively, this study investigated the extent to which providers' satisfaction with their communication affects their satisfaction with job-related tasks (H2d). Indeed, the results provide considerable evidence that providers' satisfaction with communication positively predicts their satisfaction with work-related tasks (β = 0.24, p<0.001). Little support for hypotheses H2a-H2d were found (see Table 4 ). Moderating effect of care giving context of PPC vs. SPC: H3a-H3c In order to test the moderating effect of care-giving context of primary care versus specialized care on select organizational factors, cross-group structural equalization modeling was employed. In both groups of PPC (n = 229) versus SPC (n = 150), the model explained a Fig 2. Empirical model. � indicates p < 0.05 �� indicates p < 0.01 ��� indicates p < 0.005. Standardized effects are given. All effects are controlled for position (lead/no lead), type of caregiver (context), place of work (city vs. countryside), function (job description), additional training, and gender; n = 379.