Designing for Redundancy: Nurses Experiences with the Wireless Nurse Call System
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionStudies in Health Technology and Informatics. 2013. 10.3233/978-1-61499-289-9-328
Patients rely on the nurse call system when in need of nurses’ assistance, while nurses rely on the nurse call system to coordinate work. In order to handle the highly mobile nature of nurses’ work, a wireless nurse call system has been introduced at a Norwegian hospital. In light of findings from previous research that identify challenges associated with wireless nurse call systems, we have conducted qualitative and ethnographically inspired fieldwork, i.e. workshops including both ordinary and student nurses to describe nurses’ present system use. We further identify challenges related to wireless nurse call system usage, in particular how nurses manage the interruptive nature of wireless nurse calls so as to ensure continuous patient support. Our analysis acknowledges that High Reliability Organization (HRO) principles are transferable to a hospital organization. Based on our data, we propose improvements for design that hopefully can help reduce disruptive interruptions, ensure quick responses to patients, and further improve quality of care and patient safety. Further, we suggest that technology should facilitate and strengthen the redundancy of function.