Table 2

Types, definitions and examples of message thread characteristics

Message characteristicTypeDefinitionExampleNo
Per cent
ProcessDischargeDiscussion of patients being discharged and preparations for patients to leave the hospital‘Do you have an anticipated discharge date for [patient)?’9712
AdministrativeDiscussion of administrative tasks such as staffing, coordinating insurance or other non-clinical-related healthcare info‘Dr [Name] could you put something in writing for [provider] to fax to help the case.’11514
Clinical ManagementDiscussion of clinical issues directly related to patient care, such as procedures that need to be done, patient symptoms, test results or other clinical process‘He has stone in bile duct and cholangitis so we need to do ercp today’ ‘pt on [team], he came in UTI, sepsis, his temp was 39.1, I gave him tylenol earlier, now his temp is 37.4.’49862
UnknownProcess could not be ascertained from context555–5555, Dr. Smith, team i, John Doe20625
PurposeAssignmentPresenting information regarding assignment of patients to a unit, or assignment of staff to specific tasks‘Good morning—are you still covering [patient]?’; ‘Team [xx] pls c ER admit. Accepted already by Dr [provider] thanks’8310
ClarificationCorrecting or clarifying information that was previously presented‘for a neph tube placement, is there another reason for the scan? If not a KUB xray would be sufficient for this’ ‘Nope, a KUB would be fine. Thanks!’12616
Notification/updatePresenting new information, usually about a patient’s status‘Pt had a bs of 442. Put into stabilizer and it says too soon to treat since last bs was put in 3 hours ago. Just wanted you to know about sugar level still being high. Thanks, I'm at [xxxxx]’.51864
RequestAsking for specific task to be done, such as ordering laboratory tests, writing a prescription, or requesting a recipient to check on a patient‘I am monitoring him for refeeding and has not gotten any labs this am, nor or they ordered. Could we get a bmp with phos and mag Q12’51063
PlanningDiscussing future-oriented care decisions, such as follow-up care after discharge or next-day plans for rounding on patients‘We were thinking 4wks treatment with reimaging and follow up at that point but let me double check’11514