Using Epistemic Network Analysis to Explore Outcomes of Care Transitions

Abigail R. Wooldridge, Ruth Ann Haefli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Care transitions are important to patient safety, but we lack consensus on what outcomes of transitions to evaluate. We interviewed 28 physicians and nurses who participate in transitions of adult and pediatric trauma patients from the operating room to the intensive care unit. The handoff (i.e., communication about patient information) in the pediatric care transition was done together as a team while the other handoff was separated by profession. In this study, we identify nine care transition outcomes: (1) communication sufficiency, completeness and accuracy, (2) handoff timing, (3) patient outcomes, (4) change in workload, (5) individual situation awareness, (6) team situation awareness, (7) organization awareness, (8) team experience and (9) timing of feedback. These outcomes could be positive and negative (i.e., good or bad). This study also investigates relationships between outcomes in the two groups using epistemic network analysis (ENA). While we found the no difference between the outcomes in the team and separate handoff when comparing frequency counts, relationships between outcomes did differ when using ENA. Interviewees with the team handoff described more relationships between care team level outcomes – team situation awareness and team experience – and other outcomes, while interviewees with the separate handoffs focused on the relationship between communication and patient outcome. Future work should investigate differences in relationships between positive and negative valences of the outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Quantitative Ethnography - 1st International Conference, ICQE 2019, Proceedings
EditorsBrendan Eagan, Amanda Siebert-Evenstone, Morten Misfeldt
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783030332310
StatePublished - 2019
Event1st International Conference on Quantitative Ethnography, ICQE 2019 - Madison, United States
Duration: Oct 20 2019Oct 22 2019

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference1st International Conference on Quantitative Ethnography, ICQE 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Care transition outcomes
  • Epistemic network analysis
  • Handoffs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Mathematics


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