Emergency department status boards: User-evolved artefacts for inter- and intra-group coordination

Robert L. Wears*, Shawna J. Perry, Stephanie Wilson, Julia Galliers, James Fone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Large, easily viewed status boards are commonly used in some healthcare settings such as emergency departments, operating theaters, intensive care units, and inpatient wards. Because these artefacts were developed by front-line users, and have little to no supervisory or regulatory control, they offer valuable insights into the theories of work and hazard held by those users. Although the status boards case were locally developed over many years for within-group coordination, they have also become useful for between-group coordination across organizational boundaries. In this paper, we compare and contrast the use of such status boards in two disparate settings: a US emergency department, and a UK pediatric ward, and note striking similarities in their form and usage, despite the large differences in setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-170
Number of pages8
JournalCognition, Technology and Work
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive artefacts
  • Communication and coordination
  • Joint cognitive systems
  • Shared cognition


Dive into the research topics of 'Emergency department status boards: User-evolved artefacts for inter- and intra-group coordination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this