Disconnection in Information Exchange During Pediatric Trauma Transfers: A Qualitative Study

Hadley S. Sauers-Ford, James B. Aboagye, Stuart Henderson, James P. Marcin, Jennifer Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pediatric patients experiencing an emergency department (ED) visit for a traumatic injury often transfer from the referring ED to a pediatric trauma center. This qualitative study sought to evaluate the experience of information exchange during pediatric trauma visits to referring EDs from the perspectives of parents and referring and accepting clinicians through semi-structured interviews. Twenty-five interviews were conducted (10 parents and 15 clinicians) and analyzed through qualitative thematic analysis. A 4-person team collaboratively identified codes, wrote memos, developed major themes, and discussed theoretical concepts. Three interdependent themes emerged: (1) Parents’ and clinicians’ distinct experiences result in a disconnect of information exchange needs; (2) systems factors inhibit effective information exchange and amplify the disconnect; and (3) situational context disrupts the flow of information contributing to the disconnect. Individual-, situational-, and systems-level factors contribute to disconnects in the information exchanged between parents and clinicians. Understanding how these factors’ influence information disconnect may offer avenues for improving patient–clinician communication in trauma transfers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Patient Experience
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • information
  • pediatric trauma
  • transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Leadership and Management
  • Health(social science)


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