Supporting Clinicians to Improve Decision Making and Patients' Care
Designing Intelligent Systems to Support Cognitive Work of Clinical Providers in Emergency Departments
The use of cognitive engineering systems methodology helps to better understand the interactions of the cognitive and workflow processes of frontline emergency medicine providers by affording new strategies for the design of health information technology (IT) solutions. These strategies not only strive to improve the effectiveness of clinical work in high-intensity medical environments, but also provide a guide to improve health IT implementations in the future.
The use of an emergency department referral infrastructure including an electronic assessment of patients’ social needs (e.g., transportation, food, and housing assistance) can facilitate referrals for those in need and monitor population health post-discharge, which shows the potential of such infrastructure to improve health outcomes and reduce inappropriate emergency department usage.
By characterizing common patterns in information availability, information use, and care planning by primary care providers during patient visits for chronic pain, researchers created new electronic health record-based decision support tools to guide clinicians’ perceptions and judgments of noncancer pain to increase use of guideline-based patient assessment and treatment.
Similar to the airline industry’s use of a “black box” that captures actions leading up to a near miss or error, the health IT black box captures mouse movements and keystrokes made by users of EHRs. This allows for a robust analysis of the root cause of EHR errors that subsequently can inform improvements in EHR design and usability.
Leveraging clinic room configuration allows the computer to become a facilitator to the patient visit, rather than a barrier between the provider and patient.