Visual TASK: A Collaborative Cognitive Aid for Acute Care Resuscitation

Gonzales, M., Henry, J., Calhoun, A., and Riek, L.D., 10th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (Pervasive Health) [Honored by Transactions on Pervasive Health and Technology as an endorsed paper] (2016).
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Preventable medical errors are a severe problem in healthcare, causing over 400,000 deaths per year in the US in hospitals alone. In acute care, the branch of medicine encom- passing the emergency department (ED) and intensive care units (ICU), error rates may be higher to due low situational awareness among clinicians performing resuscitation on patients. To support cognition, novice team leaders may rely on reference guides to direct and anticipate future steps. However, guides often act as a fixation point, diverting the leader’s attention away from the team. To address this issue, we conducted a qualitative study that evaluates a collabo- rative cognitive aid co-designed with clinicians called Visual TASK. Our study explored the use of Visual TASK in three simulations employing a projected shared display with two different interaction modalities: the Microsoft Kinect and a touchscreen. Our results suggest that tools like the Kinect, while useful in other areas of acute care like the OR, are un-suitable for use in high-stress situations like resuscitation. We also observed that fixation may not be constrained to reference guides alone, and may extend to other objects in the room. We present our findings, and a discussion regard- ing future avenues in which collaborative cognitive aids may help in improving situational awareness in resuscitation.