Triage Drift: A Workplace Study in a Pediatric Emergency Department

Pernille Bjørn, Kjetil Rødje

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    This paper presents a workplace study of triage work practices within an emergency
    department (ED). We examine the practices, procedures, and organization in which ED staff uses
    tools and technologies when coordinating the essential activity of assessing and sorting patients
    arriving at the ED. The paper provides in-depth empirical observations describing the situated work
    practices of triage work, and the complex collaborative nature of the triage process. We identify and
    conceptualize triage work practices as comprising patient trajectories, triage nurse activities,
    coordinative artefacts and exception handling; we also articulate how these four features of triage
    practices constitute and connect workflows, organize and re-organize time and space during the
    triage process. Finally we conceptualize these connections as an assessing and sorting mechanism
    in collaborative work. We argue that the complexities involved in this mechanism are a necessary
    asset of triage work, which calls for a reassessment of the concept of triage drift.
    Udgivelsesdato: Aug 2008
    TidsskriftComputer Supported Cooperative Work
    Udgave nummer4
    Sider (fra-til)395-419
    StatusUdgivet - 2008