A Continuum of Interfaces to Engage Surgical Staff in Efficient Collaboration

  • Juliette RambourgEmail author
  • Hélène Gaspard-Boulinc
  • Stéphane Conversy
  • Marc Garbey
Systems-Level Quality Improvement
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Systems-Level Quality Improvement


Large hospital surgical suites must combine high quality of care with an efficient management of operations. However, the diversity of procedures, staff, and patients present important challenges for staff collaboration. The complexity of flows between tasks and places, such as interconnections between pre-operation, post-operation and intensive care units, led previous research to address these issues separately using checklists, scheduling, or specialized human-computer interfaces. Approaches to treat the surgical suite as a whole entity have not been explored yet. Here, we build upon a cyber-physical system comprising an electronic whiteboard and different sensors tracking the status of operating rooms to design a continuum of mobile and fixed, shared computer interfaces. The interfaces disseminate the information through different locations and devices and allow for its manipulation in order to foster appropriate collaboration on unforeseen events and decisions. We present our design rationale process, involving the different surgical suite users and stakeholders and report on the architecture of the system.


Hospital Cyber-physical system Surgical suite Collaboration Surgical flow Perioperative activity Awareness Information mobility 



We would like to thank the Dunn and OPC OR crew at Houston Methodist Hospital who actively participated in this study.


This study was funded by National Science Foundation under the I/UCRC for Cyber-Physical Systems for the Hospital Operating Room Grant No.1657550.

Compliance with ethical standards

After being reviewed by the Director of Office of Research Protections of the Houston Methodist Research Institute, this project was declared to not require either IRB or ARAF review.

Conflict of interest

Author Juliette Rambourg declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author Hélène Gaspard-Boulinc declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author Stéphane Conversy declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author Marc Garbey declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Houston Methodist HospitalHoustonUSA
  2. 2.ENAC – French University of Civil AviationToulouseFrance

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