Electronic Emergency-Department Whiteboards: A Study of Clinicians’ Expectations and Experiences

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    Purpose. Many emergency departments (EDs) are in a process of transitioning from dry-erase to electronic whiteboards. This study investigates differences in ED clinicians’ perception and assessment of their electronic whiteboards across departments and staff groups and at two points in time.
    Method. We conducted a survey consisting of a questionnaire administered when electronic whiteboards were introduced and another questionnaire administered when they had been in use for 8-9 months. The survey involved two EDs and, for reasons of comparison, a paediatric department.
    Results. The ED respondents consider the whiteboard information important to their overview, and they approve of the introduction of electronic whiteboards. With the electronic whiteboards, the ED respondents experience a better overall overview of their work than with dry-erase whiteboards. They also experience that whiteboard information has to a larger extent become available where and when they need it. Conversely, the ED respondents’ expectations toward the electronic whiteboards have not been fulfilled when it comes to keeping information current and obtaining improvements for the patients. The ED staff groups of physicians, nurses, and secretaries experience the electronic whiteboards differently. The physicians, for example, consider it faster and simpler than the nurses to find information on the electronic whiteboards. After extended use, multiple questionnaire items about achieved performance and required effort contribute to explaining the variation in the nurses’ overall assessment of the whiteboards; for physicians and secretaries few items contribute to explaining the variation in their overall assessment. The respondents from the paediatric department perceive their whiteboards as less important to their overview and collaboration than the ED respondents.
    Conclusion. The ED clinicians experience positive effects of electronic over dry-erase whiteboards. However, their assessment of electronic whiteboards depends on their staff group, evolves over time, and differs from that of paediatric clinicians. These results likely affect clinicians’ acceptance of electronic whiteboards and their command of their work.
    TidsskriftInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
    Udgave nummer9
    Sider (fra-til)618-630
    Antal sider13
    StatusUdgivet - 2011


    • Electronic whiteboard
    • status board
    • emergency department
    • Before/after survey
    • technology adoption

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