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Keywords

Critical care, Data display, Nursing, Task performance and analysis

 

Authors

  1. DOIG, ALEXA K. PhD, RN
  2. DREWS, FRANK A. PhD
  3. KEEFE, MAUREEN R. PhD, RN, FAAN

Abstract

In the ICU, an extensive array of variables from the hemodynamic monitoring display is routinely analyzed. However, the development of new display technologies is proceeding without adequate study of the monitoring tasks and behaviors of a primary user group-critical-care nurses. Semistructured interviews focusing on the cognitive aspects of the hemodynamic monitoring task were conducted with 14 critical-care nurses. A systematic content analysis of qualitative data identified cognitive tasks that had applicability to the design of monitoring displays. The cognitive tasks of hemodynamic monitoring were (1) selective data acquisition, (2) applying meaning to the variables and understanding relationships between parameters, (3) controlling hemodynamics by titrating medications and intravenous fluids, and (4) monitoring complex trends of multiple interacting variables and patient response to interventions. Recommendations include designing the monitoring display to match the mental constructs and cognitive tasks of the user by applying conceptual meaning to the variables, highlighting relationships between variables, and presenting a "big picture" view of the patient's condition. Monitoring displays must also present integrated trends that illustrate the dynamic relationship between interventions and patient response.