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Mobile Communication in Hospitals: What is the Problem?

Mobile Communication in Hospitals: What is the Problem?
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Author(s): Terje Solvoll (Norwegian Centre for Integrated Care and Telemedicine, Tromsø Telemedicine Laboratory, University hospital of North Norway & Department of Computer Science, University of Tromsø, Norway)
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 15
Source title: Integrated Information and Computing Systems for Natural, Spatial, and Social Sciences
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Claus-Peter Rückemann (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU), Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2190-9.ch014


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The work setting in hospitals is communication intensive and can lead to significant difficulties related to interruptions from co-workers. Physicians often need information fast, and any delay between the decision made and the action taken could cause medical errors. One suggested solution for this problem is to implement wireless phone systems. However, psychological theory and empirical evidence, both suggest that wireless phones have the potential of creating additional problems related to interruptions, compared to traditional paging systems. The fact that hospital workers prefer interruptive communication methods before non-interruptive methods, amplifies the risk of overloading people when phones are widely deployed. This challenge causes some hospital staff to resist the diffusion of wireless phones, and a key is how to handle the balance between increased availability, and increased interruptions. In this chapter, the authors present solutions based on context aware communication systems, aiming to reduce interruptions.

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