The Cost of Improved Overview: An Analysis of the Use of Electronic Whiteboards in Emergency Departments
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.
KeywordsCost 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.
- 2.Card, S.K., Mackinlay, J.D., Shneiderman, B. (eds.): Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco (1999)Google Scholar
- 3.Shneiderman, B.: The eyes have it: a task by data type taxonomy for information visualizations. In: Proceedings of the 1996 IEEE Conference on Visual Languages, pp. 336–343. IEEE Press, Los Alamitos, CA (1996)Google Scholar
- 8.Rasmussen, R., Fleron, B., Hertzum, M., Simonsen, J.: Balancing tradition and transcendence in the implementation of emergency-department electronic whiteboards. In: Molka-Danielsen, J., Nicolaisen, H.W., Persson, J.S. (eds.) Selected Papers of the Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia 2010, pp. 73–87. Tapir Academic Press, Trondheim (2010)Google Scholar
- 12.Spence, R.: Information Visualization: Design for Interaction, 2nd edn. Prentice Hall, Harlow (2007)Google Scholar
- 13.Bossen, C., Jensen, L.G.: How physicians ‘achieve overview’: a case-based study in a hospital ward. In: Proceedings of the CSCW2014 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing, pp. 257–268. ACM Press, New York (2014)Google Scholar
- 16.Russell, D.M., Stefik, M.J., Pirolli, P., Card, S.K.: The cost structure of sensemaking. In: Proceedings of the INTERCHI1993 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 269–276. ACM Press, New York (1993)Google Scholar
- 17.Rasmussen, R., Hertzum, M.: Consider the details: a study of the reading distance and revision time of electronic over dry-erase whiteboards. In: Proceedings of the Danish HCI Research Symposium, DHRS2012, pp. 24–27. University of Southern Denmark, Sønderborg, DK (2012)Google Scholar
- 18.Scupelli, P., Xiao, Y., Fussell, S.R., Kiesler, S., Gross, M.D.: Supporting coordination in surgical suites: physical aspects of common information spaces. In: Proceedings of the CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1777–1786. ACM Press, New York (2010)Google Scholar