Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Designing information hotspots for the surgical suite: How architecture, artifacts, and people's behavior converge to support coordination
by Scupelli, Peter, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, 2009, 199; 3367051
Abstract (Summary)

Shared information displays are increasingly present in built environments. Terminal displays in airports show arrival and departure information, monitors in hotels and convention centers show room assignments, and whiteboards in hospitals show schedules and help staff know what others are doing. One of the most important types of displays is the schedule board for surgical suites. Surgical suites are a highly dynamic setting, where doctors, nurses, equipment, rooms, and patients must be perfectly coordinated. Schedule changes occur frequently and must be shared among staff. This research examines the design of hospital architecture (placement of walls, corridors, furnishings) and information artifacts for more effective information sharing and coordination of surgeries.

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor:
Commitee:
School: Carnegie Mellon University
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-B 70/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Design, Architecture, Computer science
Keywords: Hospital architecture, Information hotspots, Surgical suite
Publication Number: 3367051
ISBN: 9781109264982
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