Coordinating heterogeneous work: Information and representation in medical care
Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Medical care involves intense collaboration amongst a number of practitioners including physicians, nurses, and pharmacists Their work is concentrated on a single patient, and yet their activities, motivations, and concerns are very different We explore the use of a shared information system in helping these individuals coordinate their work In particular, we use the idea of a common information space to explore how the shared information is incorporated into the diverse work practices of an intensive care unit In addition to physical co-location, we found that providing information in many specialised representations is critical to managing their coordination. Unlike paper records, computer systems offer the ability to decouple information from its representations. This decoupling opens up a rich design space for systems that allow people with different interests, concerns and work practices to work together effectively.