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Using internet to enhance team functioning

Abstract:
Establishing a consistent and coordinated treatment approach among outpatient service providers from different agencies, with different experience and skills, is a daunting task. Barriers to efficient means of communication contribute significantly to the difficulties encountered. This project piloted the use of e-mail to allow clients, family members, providers from various sites, and case managers to communicate in a shared forum using "listserver" technology. The project evaluated (1) the feasibility of using e-mail listservers to connect clients and team members, and (2) participants' perceptions of the effect on communication and treatment coordination. Clients were found to be reluctant to participate in the project for several reasons, including being overwhelmed and hesitant to try something new, hesitance to use a listserver to communicate important or confidential information, and a belief that they did not require assistance by a team in the first place. Of those who chose to participate, few had significant activity on the listserver. The few that did continue to utilize email to communicate with their team members. It was concluded that the use of a listserver to facilitate team functioning is not yet a viable method of communication. However, electronic communication between individual team members does appear to be a workable option for regular users of email.

Registry Project Number: 94
Lead Investigator: Bogner, J
Lead Center for Project: Ohio State University
Collaborating Investigators: Corrigan, J, Lamb-Hart, G
Date of Completion: 06/30/2002
Type: Local
Status of Project: Latest Information Shown

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