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Constructing common information spaces across distributed emergency medical teams

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


  • Zhan Zhang, Drexel University, United States
  • Aleksandra Sarcevic, Drexel University, United States
  • Claus Bossen

This paper investigates coordination and real-time information sharing across four emergency medical teams in a high-risk and distributed setting as they provide care to critically injured patients within the first hour after injury. Through multiple field studies we explored how common understanding of critical patient data is established across these heterogeneous teams and what coordination mechanisms are being used to support information sharing and interpretation. To interpret the data, we drew on the concept of Common Information Spaces (CIS). Our results showed that teams faced many challenges in achieving efficient information sharing and coordination, including difficulties in locating and assembling team members, communicating and interpreting information from the field, and reconciling differences in team perspectives and information needs, all while having minimal technology support. We reflect on these challenges to suggest an extension of the classic CSCW time-space matrix, as well as future development of CIS as an analytical framework. The paper concludes with design opportunities for supporting highly distributed and heterogeneous teamwork in time-critical work environments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCSCW 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
Number of pages14
Place of publicationUSA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication year25 Feb 2017
ISBN (electronic)978-1-4503-4335-0
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2017

    Research areas

  • common information spaces, emergency medical teams, etnography, computer supported cooperative work, distributed team work, Emergency medicine, Information handover, Pre-hospital patient care, Information sharing, Coordination mechanisms, Healthcare, Common Information Spaces, Teamwork, information sharing, coordination mechanisms, pre-hospital patient care, emergency medicine, SERVICES, CARE, healthcare, Common information spaces, teamwork, information handover, TECHNOLOGY

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