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  Mobile technology in Healthcare  

The project is divided in to 2 subprojects:

  1. The study of the development and implementation of ERP in Aarhus county
  2. Four visions for mobile and pervasive EPR

All of these subprojects take as their object of research the medicine module currently being developed by Systematic for Aarhus county. Henceforth, the ‘Aarhus ERP’ is used to denote this concrete EPR.

The study of the development and implementation of ERP
This subproject will study one the one hand the process of developing the Aarhus EPR and on the other hand the process of implementing the EPR on one of the hospitals in the county. Even though each of these two studies contain in themselves interesting questions, another aim of this subproject is to compare the process of developing the EPR with the consequences for the work practices on the hospital when the EPR is implemented. Intended or non-intended changes to work practices occur as a result of design decisions. It is therefore interesting to follow how such design decisions “play out” when the computer system is actually implemented and used in a concrete work setting.

This study provides input to the two other subprojects. The study of work practices on the hospital gives input to the visions for new mobile technology. The study of consequences of design decisions provides input to the study and enhancement of software engineering processes in a way that provides an understanding of how to make sound, visionary and appropriate design decision early in the software development process.

The subproject will apply ethnographic fieldwork based on 3 times 2 months of study of hospital work before, under and after the implementation of the Aarhus EPR.

Four visions for mobile and pervasive EPR
This subproject aims at providing visions for and concrete prototypes of new mobile and pervasive computing equipment within a hospital. The following 4 work practices (called “themes”) will provide the scenarios for the 4 visions:

Theme 1 – Documenting the medicine given to a patient. Correct documentation of the medicine given to a patient is essential in patient care and provides the basis for quality insurance in a medical treatment of the patient. This theme will investigate how the nurse can use new mobile or pervasive technology connected to an EPR when medicine is given to a patient.

Theme 2 – Prescription of medicine. It is of vital importance that the physician has an overview of the patient’s medical situation when he prescribes medicine. This theme will investigate how the physician can use mobile or pervasive computer technology when he moves around or is not present at the hospital.

Theme 3 – Clinical conferences about prescription of medicine. When a physician prescribes medicine or evaluates a medical treatment he often needs to cooperate with fellow physicians or nurses. Thus, the EPR needs to contain computer support for cooperative work or groupware facilities. This theme will look into how such cooperative support can be made and how it can become mobile and pervasive, enabling physician and nurses to make conference calls in a situation where they are not near a PC.

Theme 4 – The mobile "patient". When a patient initiates a treatment it is important for the physician to know his current use of medicine and previous medical history. This is often a cumbersome task for the physician and one that the patient easily could do one his own. This theme will therefore focus on providing the patient access to the EPR. The patient, however, is never located in one particular place in a hospital and some mobile or pervasive computer technology would therefore be useful in this theme.

The main idea is to develop two prototypes for each theme, one illustrating how to create mobile support for the work practice and another illustrating how to make the computer support pervasive – e.g. disappear into the bed, wall, bed sheets, etc.



   CfPC©, updated: 14-nov-05