The Double-Edged Sword of Reducing Uncertainty in Emergency Departments: The Effect of Informing Patients on Empowerment and Emotions of Medical Staff
Information is a crucial resource for different stakeholders in organizations. Organizational members who have more information feel empowered and actively involved in the work environment. Information can be redistributed as part of the organizational change, such that some actors may receive more information, and hence, more power. We examine these dynamics in a study of medical staff and patients in a hospital Emergency Department (ED). We developed a new information system, which provides ED patients with ongoing information about their treatment procedure and follow its effects on both ED patients and medical staff. Our results indicate that the system changes staff perceptions regarding the amount of information patients have, and consequently influences staff’s empowerment and emotions. Our research shows the importance of considering different actors in attempts to reduce uncertainty for one specific stakeholder in a planned organizational change initiative.