In search of flows synchronization: temporal and informational coordination of healthcare activities in a nuclear medicine unit


  • Bénédicte Geffroy Ecole des Mines de Nantes
  • François de Corbière Ecole des Mines de Nantes
  • Gwenaëlle Lairet ESSCA École de Management, LEMNA
  • François Deltour Ecole des Mines de Nantes



coordination theory, hospital information systems, synchronization, temporality.


The article analyzes how the flow of patients and the flow of radiopharmaceuticals are synchronized in a nuclear medicine unit. Both the flows structure the timing of healthcare activities that face specific constraints of time and safety related to the radioactive char- acteristics of the products involved. In such a context, coordination of activities presents informational and temporal aspects that are essential for the activity performance. We provide a framework of analysis in which coordination theory is associated to the multiple times perspective, and we conduct a case study in a nuclear medicine unit. The results high- light healthcare activities are coordinated by: (1) multiple forms of dependencies between activities, (2) combination of chronological and perceived time, and (3) essential role of information exchanges. The research leads to a new definition of synchronization, and to analyse the dependencies between activities including multiple times. Finally, we explain the partial integration of information systems to synchronize both the flows. 





Empirical research