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Workplace learning among general practitioners and specialists: The use of videoconferencing as a tool

Line Lundvoll Nilsen (Norwegian Centre for Integrated Care and Telemedicine, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 25 October 2011




Videoconferencing between general practitioners and hospitals has been developed to provide higher quality health care services in Norway by promoting interaction between levels of care. This article aims to explore the use of videoconferencing for information exchange and consultation throughout the patient trajectory and to investigate how collaboration affects learning and the patient's treatment.


The approach was interaction analysis supplemented by interviews. Medical discussions concerning the patient were observed for 15 days, creating a trajectory of seven videoconferences. Interviews were conducted to examine the collaboration.


General practitioners and specialists use a different repertoire of knowledge and experiences to report and consult throughout the course of treatment. Over time, new medical problems arose, and the treatment had to be adjusted. The activity remained continuous and contributed to an integrated knowledge and information exchange. Collaboration using videoconferencing across levels of care created opportunities for workplace learning in health services and can lead to continuity, improved coordination, and a higher quality of care.


In contrast to other studies, which state effects, the need for continuity and cooperation in health care, and the ways in which individual differences make it difficult to achieve seamless health care services, this study offers insight into how continuity and cooperation can be achieved. It includes both observations of interactions and interviews of the participants, providing analysis of collaborative work in situ. This provides insight into the content of the interaction over time as a resource for understanding the outcome of the use of technology and improving health care.



Lundvoll Nilsen, L. (2011), "Workplace learning among general practitioners and specialists: The use of videoconferencing as a tool", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 23 No. 8, pp. 501-517.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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