What "to-do" with physician task lists: clinical task model development and electronic health record design implications. Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Electronic Health Records
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Task Performance and Analysis


  • Clinical task, or "to-do" lists are a common element in the physician document known as signout. Such lists are used to capture and track patient care plan items, supporting daily workflow and collaborative patient management continuity across care transitions. While physician task lists have been shown to be important to patient safety, the tasks themselves have not been systematically examined for their subject matter, structure, or components. A manual sublanguage analysis of 500 signout tasks was conducted, and a hierarchical conceptual model for clinical tasks was inductively constructed. Tasks were classified by action type (Assess, Order, Communicate, Perform) and corresponding components. The most common task action types were Assess and Order. The most common task components were "What" type components such as Tests, including subtypes Laboratory and Imaging. This study yielded several important design considerations for future electronic health record systems that support collaborative clinical task management.

publication date

  • December 2009



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC2815485

PubMed ID

  • 20351930

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 624

end page

  • 8


  • 2009