Digitalization and transmission of clinical information in nursing (digi-care)

How does the use of digital tools and clinical information systems affect the transmission of patient information? These and other research questions are the focus of the "digi-care" project.



According to an analysis by eHealth Suisse, the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in healthcare is essential and nursing staff are increasingly confronted with the digitization of work processes. This will also radically change the way clinical patient information is communicated by nurses and other healthcare professionals. It is therefore essential to promote the teaching of the relevant competencies in education and training, the exchange of good practice, and the development of effective teaching and learning methods.

Course of action

In the first phase, we will conduct an ethnographic study in six hospital units (general care, acute care, or rehabilitation wards) in Italian-speaking Switzerland (n = 2) and German-speaking Switzerland (n = 4) to identify situations in which clinical patient information is shared and which are perceived as significant by the study participants. In the second phase, we will select and validate a set of typical significant situations, working closely with study participants and experts. In the third phase, we will use the selected situations to develop two types of prototypes: a) prototypes of video-based multimedia learning situations that can be used in vocational schools and in the workplace for education and training, and b) prototypes of solutions that can be used to mitigate the situations judged to be critical from a technological point of view. In the fourth phase, we will validate the developed prototypes (learning situations and technological solutions) together with the study participants and with experts and disseminate the results. We will follow an ethnographic approach with targeted observations of the activities through job shadowing and auto-confrontation interviews. Data analysis and processing follows semiological principles and aims to identify the subjective meaning of the situations.


The 37-month project successfully launched in October 2020, with 16 context analysis interviews conducted at four hospitals through October 2021. 320 hours of job shadowing were captured with video and 16 self-confrontation interviews were conducted. By this time, 140 information sharing situations and 76 IT-related incidents could be selected and documented from the first four hospitals. In the meantime, data collection has been successfully completed in all 6 hospitals. Currently, the data analysis is being carried out in order to discuss the results step by step with the hospitals concerned and with experts from the field of continuing education in a multi-stage process starting in the 2nd quarter of 2022 and to select particularly interesting situations and incidents for which training videos, process illustrations and mockups for a better IT design will then be developed.

Nachgestellte Beobachtungssituation am Patientenbett (BFH)
Simulated observation situation at a patient's bedside (BFH).

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 3: Good health and well-being