Supporting the workflow of nurses at the ICU
Sep 2017 - ongoing
Designing the interface of an ICU dashboard.
The intensive care is a complex environment where nurses have to deal with more than 500 tasks a day, an administrative burden and an information overspill coming from a multitude of IT systems and colleagues. On top of that, a high rate of alarms is false and messages are not always relevant. These stressors have a large impact on patient safety and work satisfaction.
Software development company New Compliance tries to reduce the stressors by producing medical dashboards that show timely and relevant information. Highly based on contextual research at the intensive care department of Erasmus MC Rotterdam, graduate student Lotte Salomé designed a new ICU dashboard. The contextual research is concluded in a poster that visualizes a working day of an ICU nurse, and can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
Where it started
The initial design goal was to develop a dashboard for ICU nurses that would improve patient safety and work satisfaction. To reach that goal, a contextual research, based on contextmapping, was done. Seven ICU nurses were interviewed about their workflow and information management. It came forward that the effectiveness and efficiency of a nurse can be improved by tackling problems that arise with factors that are beyond control of a nurse: either the information systems or the colleagues they interact with. The pressure caused by these factors could be relieved by improving the collaboration within the ICU team and by providing the right information at the right time.
My goal was to design a dashboard that increases the feeling of control and collaboration within the ICU team, by showing timely and relevant information.
To come to a design that fits the ICU, the appearance and interaction style were based on the general characteristics of an ICU nurse (see image below). The content of the dashboard was based on a co-creation session with ICU nurses, which also provided structure to the interface.
The design was tested with six ICU nurses, with the aim to get insight in their opinions about the system and to formulate recommendations for further development. The results of this test show that the nurses think this system is intuitive, easy to learn and has future potential to improve information provision and patient safety. However, it needs further development to conclude this with more certainty. For example, the interface of the dashboard has to be evaluated when it is used next to the current registration software, so it can be concluded whether the current design does justice to the dashboard’s main functionalities. Next to that, it is recommended to look into supporting communication in multidisciplinary teams by means of this ICU dashboard.
It could be concluded that this project has provided a good foundation to reach the goal of New Compliance. It provided insight in the ICU context and proposed a design, which seems to be able to support the ICU nurses’ workflow. Not only is it a tool that helps nurses to locate specific information more quickly, it also gives insight in the activities of team members so that collaboration can run more smoothly.
Do you want to know more about the ICU, its nurses and the visual dashboard? Download Lotte’s graduation poster and contextual reseach visualization below.