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School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering

ACE

"Information Appliances in Clinical Environments"

Staff and funding

Principal investigator: Dr Julia Galliers, Stephanie Wilson

Research staff: James Fone
Total funding: £50,000
Funding to the Centre: £27,314
Funding source: ESRC/EPSRC/DTI LINK Phase 2 of the People at the Centre of Communication and Information Technologies Programme(PACCIT-LINK).
Duration: 2003-2004

Project description

ACE aimed to contribute to work on organizational learning for patient safety in the NHS by investigating a novel approach for incorporating 'lessons learned' into clinical environments through the design of specifically tailored information appliances.

The research was situated within The Women and Children's Services Division at the Bromley Hospital NHS Trust.

There were four significant achievements of ACE:

First, we developed a method called DIB (Determining Information Breakdown), based on the theory of distributed cognition, for investigating the causes of actual or potential adverse events in clinical systems by locating information flow breakdowns. This involved creating detailed models of different aspects of patient care on the paediatric ward at the Bromley Hospital. One of the areas identified as being at potential risk of information flow breakdown was shift handover.

Secondly, detailed models were created and analyses conducted of shift handover and preparation for handover. These were used to understand more about the nature and role of handover and the artefacts used. We noted that, unlike many other safety-critical systems, there was no readily available and up-to-date representation of the 'state of the ward' to support handover.

This led into the third achievement: the design and development of CHA (Clinical Handover Appliance), a prototype information appliance to support medical shift handover. CHA was evaluated by doctors on the paediatric ward at the Bromley hospital.

Finally, we conducted an experiment to determine the impact of displaying the handover information on a large, shared display during shift handover.

Project collaborators

Publications include

Related material

Further technical reports are in progress and links will be added when they are completed.