Skip to main content

Table 1 Ethnographic data collection framework

From: Professional conceptualisation and accomplishment of patient safety in mental healthcare: an ethnographic approach

PHASE ACTIVITY PURPOSE LOGISTICS PARTICIPANTS OUTPUTS
1.
Max.
5 × 8
hour
shifts
Initial unstructured
observations
• Familiarisation with space and use of space
• Familiarisation with rhythm of setting
• Starting to build relationships and trust
• Determine who is amenable to shadowing
• Identify key locations for stationary
observations
• Identify key policy/guideline documents
• Background observation of
activity (potentially
accompanying key initial
contact in the setting)
• Introductions with staff
members
• 5 shifts on different days of
the week (over 2 weeks)
(= max 40 hours)
All staff • Map of settings
• Timetable of key regular events
• List of 6-8 key informants
• Collected documents for later
analysis (e.g. policies, guidelines)
• Fieldnotes
2.
Max.
8 × 8
hour
shifts
Shadowing staff
members
• Observe mechanics of interactional
construction of safe practice
• Observe interactions newcomers/old-timers
• Observe use of tools/artefacts/environment
• Identifying key practices to follow in later
stage
• Shadow each staff member
for 1 shift/part shift
• Audio recording of key
meetings attended by staff
member
• Field notes of informal talk
• Field interviews
2 doctors
2 nurses
2 allied health
2 managers
• Map of practices of each key
informant - how they construe
patient safety and how they go
about trying to maintain it
• Fieldnotes
• Transcriptions of meetings
3.
Max.
2 × 8
hour
shifts
Stationary
observations in key
locations
• Observe role of key artefacts in constitution of
safety (e.g. phone in nurse's station; filing
cabinet etc).
• Observe patterns of movement of staff
• 2 locations, 1 shift each
(max. 16 hours)
All staff • Fieldnote account of how artefacts
and space play a role in the
constitution of safety
• Actor-artefact network map
4.
Max.
4 × 8
hour
shifts
Tracing key
practices
• Observe the unfolding of specific practices
previously identified as key to preservation of
safety
• Observe differences in activity when practice is
in the course of the everyday (e.g. admission/
discharge) and, if appropriate, when it follows
breakdown in order (e.g. incident review)
• 1 'everyday' practice over
the course of 2 shifts
• 1 practice dealing with
deviation from the normal (i.e.
when safe practice has
broken down in some way)
Staff involved in
practices chosen
• Map of 'practice nets' involved in
practices key to preservation of
safety
• How practice nets change when
safety breaks down
5.
Approx.
1 hr per
interview
Interviews • Elicit narrative accounts of safety preservation
• Observe how the meaning of safety is
constructed by different professionals - what
'rules and resources' do they draw on?
• Test emerging findings/maps of practices
• 6-8 interviews - audio
recordings
6-8 key informants
from phase 2
• Transcripts for analysis
6.
Approx.
30 mins
per
survey
•Social network
survey
• Provide triangulation of observation and
interview data
• Map overall patterns of communication about
safety issues within and between the two
settings under study
• Administer a social network
questionnaire to all staff in the
inpatient team and
community team under study.
All staff • Social network diagrams providing
visual representation of patterns of
safety communication