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When Once is Not Enough: The Role of Redundancy in a Hospital Ward Setting

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Association for Computing Machinery


The paper discusses the role of redundancy in hospital ward work on the basis of a field study that focuses on the use of paper artifacts supporting healthcare and its coordination. On the basis of literature and direct observations, we identified different kinds of redundancy, i.e. redundancy of effort, functions and data. Hence, we analyzed how these different forms of redundancy may affect each other and the coordination inside hospital wards. Redundancy plays a positive or negative role depending on various circumstances. This twofold nature defines different requirements for a technology to support healthcare and ward work by preserving practices linked to paper-based artifacts and by unobtrusively augmenting them with computational capabilities.


Cabitza, Federico; Sarini, Marcello; Simone, Carla; Telaro, Michele (2005): When Once is Not Enough: The Role of Redundancy in a Hospital Ward Setting. Proceedings of the 2005 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work. DOI: 10.1145/1099203.1099234. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 158–167. Sanibel Island, Florida, USA