Effects of electronic emergency-department whiteboards on clinicians' time distribution and mental workload

Morten Hertzum, Jesper Simonsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Whiteboards are a central tool at emergency departments. We investigate how the substitution of electronic for dry-erase whiteboards affects emergency department clinicians’ mental workload and distribution of their time. With the electronic whiteboard, physicians and nurses spend more of their time in the work areas where other clinicians are present and whiteboard information is permanently displayed, and less in the patient rooms. Main reasons for these changes appear to be that the electronic whiteboard facilitates better timeouts and handovers. Physicians and nurses are, however, in the patient rooms for longer periods at a time, suggesting a more focused patient contact. The physicians’ mental workload has increased during timeouts, whereas the nurses’ mental workload has decreased at the start of shifts when they form an overview of the emergency department. Finally, the secretaries, but neither physicians nor nurses, access whiteboard information on computers other than the permanent displays.
Translated title of the contributionEffects of electronic emergency-department whiteboards on clinicians' time distribution and mental workload
Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Informatics Journal
Volume22
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)3-20
Number of pages19
ISSN1460-4582
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • electronic whiteboard
  • emergency department
  • mental workload
  • sociotechnical change
  • time with patients

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