Buy this Article for $7.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.

Keywords

Cognitive work analysis, Medication error prevention, Medication system

 

Authors

  1. PINGENOT, ALLEENE "ANNE" RN, PhD
  2. SHANTEAU, JAMES PhD
  3. SENGSTACKE, LTC DANIEL N. ANC, USA

Abstract

The purpose of this article was to describe key elements of an inpatient medication system using the cognitive work analysis method of Rasmussen et al (Cognitive Systems Engineering. Wiley Series in Systems Engineering; 1994). The work of nurses and physicians were observed in routine care of inpatients on a medical-surgical unit and attached ICU. Interaction with pharmacists was included. Preoperative, postoperative, and medical care was observed. Personnel were interviewed to obtain information not easily observable during routine work. Communication between healthcare workers was projected onto an abstraction/decomposition hierarchy. Decision ladders and information flow charts were developed. Results suggest that decision making on an inpatient medical/surgical unit or ICU setting is a parallel, distributed process. Personnel are highly mobile and often are working on multiple issues concurrently. In this setting, communication is key to maintaining organization and synchronization for effective care. Implications for research approaches to system and interface designs and decision support for personnel involved in the process are discussed.