Public Defence: Elisabeth Østensen

Master Elisabeth Østensen at Institute of Health and Society will be defending the thesis “Introduction, adoption, and facilitation of standardized care plans in municipal healthcare services” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Anbjørg Kolaas.

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Trial Lecture – time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Kaija Saranto, University of Eastern Finland, Finland
  • Second opponent: Associate Professor Jorunn Bjerkan, Nord University
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Morten Magelssen, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Per Nortvedt, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

 Ragnhild Hellesø, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


The increasing number of patients with complex care needs in municipal healthcare, has increased the demand for accurate and timely information to ensure patient safety and continuity of care. Studies have shown that the quality of the patient record content is often insufficient. Standardized care plans (SCPs) were implemented in Norwegian municipalities to improve the quality of the patient records.

Through an exploratory and descriptive design, this study aimed to develop knowledge on the information practice in which SCPs were introduced, discern how this introduction affected the practice in terms of how nurses adopted and used the SCPs, and identify facilitating factors for the SCPs to become routinely embedded in nurses’ information practice. Data were collected from participant observations and interviews with nurses, reviewing printouts from the care plans, and from workshops with nurses and nursing leaders.

The findings from this study revealed that municipal healthcare is a complex context in which to introduce SCPs. The municipalities had several information sources in use, there was poor access to the EPR system at the point of care, and the large differences in individual knowledge and educational background within the healthcare workforce made it difficult to balance the amount of information to put in the SCPs. The study revealed large variations in how nurses evaluated the usefulness of SCPs and in how they were used. These factors, combined with low use of the SCPs to guide practice, affected both the content of the SCPs and their possibilities for contributing to evidence-based practice. The study also showed that well-functioning technology, engaged leaders and key individuals, and ongoing access to training and support were important factors for SCPs to become routinely embedded in nurses’ information practice.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.

Published Nov. 3, 2021 9:49 AM - Last modified Nov. 16, 2021 1:13 PM