Case-based presentation in medical multidisciplinary team meetings Applied research in CSCW and IxD
Abstract: Advanced medical technology is widely used in modern healthcare, as more and more specialised examinations and treatments are performed on patients. In the case of particularly complex diseases, a number of medical specialists, each an expert in their own field, must collaboratively make diagnoses and plan for treatment. In multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTM), the medical specialists present their pieces of the puzzle, stitch them together and in consensus make a decision. A large amount of information from several sources must be taken into account, but the digital tools to support this decision-making are lacking.This thesis describes research in which engineers and medical specialists have cooperatively developed such a tool. The main research question concerns improving patient information visualisation to support the collaborative work in MDTMs; a secondary question concerns the role of interaction design in medical work. Several design activities have been conducted together with the medical specialists by utilising research methods derived from computer- supported cooperative work (CSCW) and interaction design (IxD). The new tool has been evaluated in two simulated MDTMs and even though it was developed with the users, the results cut both ways.Case-based presentation of patients in MDTMs has a positive effect, as more information can be displayed during discussions. It helps the participants keep a shared focus on the patient, her medical history, results from examinations, and decisions made in the meeting. It is a new and aggregated view of the patient and an example of how patient information visualisation can be improved. On the other hand introducing new technology and new ways of interacting with information, in the meetings was not considered entirely positive. The participants have different roles and tasks in the meeting, and the tools should support these without distracting the shared focus.This practical way of working (conducting field studies, design activities and evaluations) together with ingenious medical specialists can make a difference. By exploring and concretising stakeholders’ needs and making long-term commitments, the interaction designer can take a central position in the deve- lopment of digital, collaborative tools for medical work.
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