The Cost of Improved Overview: An Analysis of the Use of Electronic Whiteboards in Emergency Departments

  • Morten HertzumEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10514)


Forming and maintaining an overview of an information space is key to competent action in many situations and often supported by overview displays. We investigate the cost of the improved overview associated with the introduction of electronic whiteboards in four emergency departments (EDs). In such a dynamic environment the work that goes into keeping the whiteboard current is, we contend, an indicator of the cost of maintaining an overview. On the basis of log data for the period 2012–2014 we find that the ED clinicians make an average of 1.91 whiteboard changes per minute to keep the whiteboard current. Performing these changes takes an estimated 6647 h a year in each ED. While the whiteboard is well-like and has improved the clinicians’ overview, our cost-of-overview estimation shows that it consumes substantial staff resources. This reflects the value the clinicians assign to having an overview but also reveals the amount of resources removed from other activities to maintain this overview.


Cost of use Overview formation Electronic whiteboard Healthcare 



This study is part of the Clinical Communication project, which is a research and development collaboration between Roskilde University, University of Copenhagen, Imatis, and Region Zealand. The interview quote at the end of Sect. 1 is from an interview conducted in collaboration with Jesper Simonsen from Roskilde University. Special thanks are due to Rasmus Rasmussen at Imatis for making the anonymized version of the log data.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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