Evaluating Collaborative Features of Critical Care Systems: A Methodological Study of Information Technology in Surgical Intensive Care Units

AbstractThis study evaluates the collaborative features of a critical care system, CV, used in a surgical intensive care unit (SICU). In the evaluation, we take a socio-technical perspective-a view that the technical features of the system and social features of the work are fundamentally interrelated. Methods: We utilized qualitative data collection and analysis methods. We undertook seven months of observations and conducted more than thirty interviews of healthcare providers in the SICU. Results: We found that there are a wide variety of collaborative activities such as morning rounds and medication administration that a critical care system must support. We further found that CV supports healthcare providers by providing them awareness of others’ activities. Discussion: We discuss the issue of awareness in greater detail. We also provide some recommendations on how to evaluate how well a system supports collaborative features such as multiple perspectives on information, workflow dependences, and context.

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