Across the world, patients are dying and being injured because of poor communication and transfer of information across different health professionals and organizations. Older people, especially, have many health problems and need to be cared for by different health professionals and services. In Québec and Canada, more than other similar places, the emergency room has accidentally become a key place to link up health services across the whole system. This research aims to understand how individual patients and health professionals do and can work together, when health organizations can only provide them with a small amount of staff, time, place and medications because these have to be shared so widely across society. The research uses a theory about complex relations to understand what is helpful and what creates problems when individuals have to work in or with large organizations and systems to give individual patients the care that they need. Researchers will observe what health professionals and patients actually do and say in practice. There are three parts to the research. These are to understand care at small, middle-sized and large levels of society that is, individuals, organizations and the whole health system and how they work together.
he first study looks at individual patient experiences. The second looks at the emergency room as an important place to link up care in other places. The third study uses what is learned in the first two studies to look at what is said and done, and can be improved, by people who make health policies and are in charge of large organizations.
Through careful study of what people in the study say and do, this research will give specific advice to policy-makers on realistic policies that will motivate health professionals to improve the way they share information to improve patient care.