Human Technology Teamwork: Enabling clinicians to focus on complex design thinking tasks through advances in IT systems engineering

PI: David Pickham, Lauren A. Shluzas, PhD


There is an urgent need within hospitals to reduce the amount of time that clinicians spend interacting with computers, in order to increase direct patient engagement, complex problem solving abilities, and overall patient satisfaction. The proposed research explores the application of design thinking in health IT systems engineering. Specifically, we aim to examine the use of an integrated wearable computing system to: (i) enable clinicians to capture data from patients in a more natural and intuitive way, (ii) increase the amount of time for face-to-face patient interaction, and (iii) increase the speed and accuracy of tasks requiring acute critical thinking skills for complex, context-dependent medical scenarios. Clinicians from Stanford Hospital will be randomized to admit patients and administer medications, using either traditional PC‐based data entry or the new integrated system. The proposed work aims to impact design thinking research through (i) examining the use of computers to “tell a digital story” about patient engagement during the course of care; (ii) studying the impact of human augmentation (via wearable devices) on healthcare team performance; and (iii) exploring the ways in which the seamless integration of technology into patients’ and providers’ lives can influence behavior change and health outcomes for situations requiring acute point-of-care interactions.