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Cognitive artifacts in support of medical shift handover: An in use, in situ evaluation

Wilson, S., Galliers, J. R. & Fone, J. (2007). Cognitive artifacts in support of medical shift handover: An in use, in situ evaluation. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 22(1-2), pp. 59-80. doi: 10.1080/10447310709336955


Technologies introduced to support complex and critical work practices merit rigorous and effective evaluation. However, evaluation strategies often fall short of evaluating real use by practitioners in the workplace and thereby miss an opportunity to gauge the true impact of the technology on the work. This article reports an in use, in situ evaluation of 2 cognitive artifacts that support the everyday work of handover in a healthcare setting. The evaluation drew inspiration from the theoretical viewpoint offered by distributed cognition, focusing on the information content, representational media, and context of use of the artifacts. The article discusses how this approach led to insights about the artifacts and their support of the work that could not have been obtained with more traditional evaluation techniques. Specifically, the argument is made that the ubiquitous approach of user testing with its reliance on think-alouds and observations of interaction is inadequate in this context and set an initial agenda for issues that should be addressed by in use, in situ evaluations.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Science & Technology, Technology, Computer Science, Cybernetics, Ergonomics, Computer Science, Engineering, USABILITY EVALUATION, CHALLENGES
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > Human Computer Interaction Design
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