Human-Computer Interaction Institute
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Designing Information Hotspots for the Surgical Suite:
I conducted field studies in four hospital surgical suites and a survey of surgical suite directors nationwide. I describe factors of the architecture, and information available around surgical suite schedule displays that are associated with information sharing and coordination outcomes.
From the field studies, I developed the concept of an information hotspot – a place where people congregate to receive and provide information, public displays offer up-to-date information, and coordination workers answer questions, resolve conflicts, and keep information up-to-date. The information hotspot concept guided my design research. I developed design principles for the placement of schedule boards and control desks; design guidelines for the location of surgical suite displays and control desks; an evaluation list for surgical suites; and a three-tiered design intervention strategy ranging in implementation effort.
In a follow-up national survey of surgical suite directors, I studied linkages between surgical suite architecture, information artifacts and communication practices, workplace characteristics, information sharing, and coordination speed and stress. I found that visibility between the schedule board and control desk in the surgical suite, traffic-free areas around the schedule board, and complete, up-to-date schedule board information were related to information sharing and coordination outcomes.