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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 125-130

Quantifying face-to-face communication among multidisciplinary medical professions in a convalescent rehabilitation ward by using a name tag-type information communication device: A pilot study

1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tohoku University Graduates School of Medicine, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tohoku University Graduates School of Medicine; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tohoku University Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
3 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tohoku University Graduates School of Medicine, Sendai, Miyagi; Center for Graduate Medical Education, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shin-Ichi Izumi
2-1 Seiryo-cho, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JISPRM-000118

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Context: Although quantitative analyses of human behavior data collected through wearable sensors have uncovered principles of complex human behaviors and organization performances, quantitative assessment has not been conducted on communication among the medical team, despite its importance. Aims: The aim of the study is to quantify face-to-face communication in a multiprofessional medical team using a sociophysical method and wearable sensors. Settings and Design: The study was conducted at a rehabilitation ward in Japan; this was a pilot study. Subjects and Methods: The amount of time spent on face-to-face communication among 36 multidisciplinary medical professional in a rehabilitation ward was recorded using name tag-type sensors for 2 weeks. The average communication time per week for each pair of participants was calculated; the network diagrams were drawn by using Cytoscape software. The unpaired t-test and Welch's F-test used together with the Games–Howell post hoc test were performed to compare the communication times between two groups and among three groups, respectively. Results: The following three groups emerged: ward staff (nurses and care workers), rehabilitation therapists, and physicians/medical social workers. The communication time between physicians and ward staff (mean, 8.0 min/week) did not differ from that between the physicians and rehabilitation therapists (5.5). The communication time was longer among rehabilitation therapists (61.7) than among the ward staff (45.7), both of which were longer than that between the ward staff and rehabilitation therapists (4.8). Conclusions: Quantitative measurement of face-to-face communication time using wearable sensors characterized the staff behavior in a multiprofessional medical practice in a rehabilitation ward, which may affect medical team performance, such as patient outcomes.

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