Navigation Links
Design of patient tracking tools may have unintended consequences
Date:11/26/2007

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Proper design of computational tools is critical if they are to be used with success in patient-care settings, particularly in hospital emergency rooms, a field study conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo and other institutions recently revealed.

Nationwide, electronic patient tracking technologies are replacing traditional, dry-erase patient status boards, according to the UB researchers, who conducted the study with colleagues at the University of Rochester and the University of Florida, Jacksonville.

The results were presented last month by the UB researchers at the annual meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

The researchers studied how new electronic patient-status boards were functioning in the emergency departments of two busy, university-affiliated hospitals.

Overall, the UB researchers found that the computational tracking systems tended to affect how health-care providers communicate information and track activities regarding patient care, which can cause providers to change the way they work.

The results provide an important case study of what can happen when new technologies are developed without sufficient understanding by designers of the nature of the work in which they will be used, according to Ann Bisantz, Ph.D., associate professor of industrial and systems engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a co-investigator on the study.

Research in human factors, the study of the interactions between humans and technology, has shown that in complex workplaces where safety is critical, such mismatches between the way practitioners work and the technologies that are supposed to support them can have unintended consequences, including inefficiencies and workarounds, where the technology demands that people change their work method, said Bisantz.

She noted that there were surface similarities between the manual patient-status whiteboards that emergency departments have traditionally used and the electronic ones that were installed.

But in observations, focus groups and interviews with nurses, physicians, secretaries, IT specialists and administrators, the UB researchers learned that the computerized systems were not designed to match all of the underlying functionality of the manual boards.

According to Bisantz, manual whiteboards perform a critical, central function for emergency departments, providing not just patient names and demographic information, but also a means for health-care workers to share information on patient complaints, vital signs, lab tests, consultations, dietary and allergy alerts, and notices about patient rooms that need to be cleaned.

The results revealed that the innate flexibility of the manual whiteboard allowed health-care providers and other emergency department staff to use it to communicate with one another.

The manual whiteboard allows flexibility in tracking patients, Bisantz said. For example, maybe the first time the provider sees a patient, she initials the name on the whiteboard, then the next time she circles the initials, then when the patient is discharged, she might put an x in the circle, signals that are a means of communicating with her colleagues in the ER.

With a computerized system, providers have to find an available computer terminal and log-in, she said, noting: The providers cant just walk up to the whiteboard and make a notation.

In some cases, providers noted that computer systems hid some of the information; if only three comments could be viewed per screen, they had to click to get to another screen, requiring them to search for information that might demand immediate attention.

The study also found that there were fewer visual cues with the computational system. Some providers noted that they used to be able to get a sense of the status of the emergency department just by walking through the room and visually checking the manual whiteboard.

Without that public display, providers have to sit down at the computer and check it, which can add time or reduce awareness, said Bisantz.

Future modifications to computational tools for patient tracking may serve to make such systems better correspond to user needs, Bisantz said, as long as such modifications are based on user data, such as the information in this study.

If you dont understand the underlying structure of the work that is being done in a particular setting, then you cannot design the technology that will best support it, Bisantz said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ellen Goldbaum
goldbaum@buffalo.edu
716-645-5000 x1415
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. MSU engineering team designs innovative medical device
2. UCLA study identifies designer estrogen as potential MS drug
3. Implantable device designed to detect, stop seizures under study at MCG
4. Smith & Nephew Endoscopys KINSA(R) RC Suture Anchor Designed for Secure Repair of Rotator Cuff Injuries
5. Design Resource Extends Support for Orthopaedic and Cardiovascular Devices
6. Bullying Prevention Institute Designed to Empower Change in Schools
7. Smilebox and Lifetime Television Promote Breast Cancer Awareness With Multimedia Designs for Sending Mammogram Reminders and Celebrating Courage
8. Lafley Tells Shareholders That P&G is Designed to Grow
9. Independence Blue Cross Announces No Pay Getaway Promotion Designed to Encourage Healthy Behaviors
10. Fauquier Hospital - One of Only Five Nationwide to Receive Formal Designation as Patient-Centered Hospital
11. Regence Introduces Two New Plans Designed Especially for Small to Mid-Size Companies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Our bodies are bombarded daily by ... and deal with these stressors is to adopt a more healthful diet, but too ... Risa Groux, a certified Holistic Nutritionist and the creator of the Newport Beach Cleanse ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... advocating optimistic healthcare awareness and author of best seller "LOVE, MEDICINE and MIRACLES") ... Radio Monday, May 2, 2016 and podcasted thereafter . Dr. Bernie Siegel, ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... Coast Dental Fort Stewart is celebrating its grand opening ... the Exchange Furniture Mall at 112 Vilseck Road in Fort Stewart. There will be ... attendees will have the opportunity to meet general dentists Thomas Richards, DDS, and Josh ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... The Wharton ... $30,000 Perlman Grand Prize of the 2016 Wharton Business Plan Competition —as ... People’s Choice Award, and the Committee Award for Most ‘Wow Factor,’ making them ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... The Gluten-Free Certification ... pleased to announce the launch of the GFCP Scoop in response ... The purpose of the GFCP Scoop site is to keep the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... April 27, 2016 Oasmia ... developer of a new generation of drugs within ... survival results for Paclical/Apealea in the Phase III ... with epithelial ovarian cancer. These preliminary results showed ... combination with carboplatin versus Taxol in combination with ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... FRANCISCO , April 27, 2016 ... expected to reach USD 2.06 billion by 2022, ... Research, Inc. Increasing consumer awareness towards a healthy ... the next seven years.      (Logo: ... diet intake coupled with rising health treatment expenditure ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 26, 2016 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) ... Hagerman , Pharm D., to Vice President of Education ... Diplomat, Hagerman will continue to lead and oversee Diplomat ... custom education and training to Diplomat employees and external ... Diplomat University also houses the quality assurance department, which ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: