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Colloquium - Sarcevic

Understanding Teamwork in Trauma Resuscitation Through Analysis of Team Errors
Rutgers University
10/14/2009
11:30am-1:00pm

An analysis of human errors in complex work settings can lead to important insights into the workspace design. This type of analysis is particularly relevant to safety-critical, socio-technical systems that are highly dynamic, stressful and time-constrained, and where failures can result in catastrophic societal, economic or environmental consequences. In this talk, I will present my dissertation research that focused on advanced trauma care, an example of a socio-technical system in which medical teams use complex work processes while treating severely injured patients early after injury. Through an extensive ethnographic study and a mixture of techniques including cognitive work analysis and grounded theory approach, I identified and analyzed why, when, and how teamwork errors occur in trauma resuscitation. The objective was to gain deep insights and knowledge of the work of trauma teams to inform the development of information technologies to support teamwork and detect and prevent errors. Findings revealed four team error types: interpretation errors, caused by inefficient evidential data integration; communication errors, caused by failures to report critical patient information; management errors, caused by inefficient tracking of the progress of multi-step procedures; and, concurrency errors, caused by parallel activities over the shared resources. Results from this study have broader applicability to other collaborative and highly dynamic work settings that are prone to human error.

Native of Serbia, Aleksandra Sarcevic holds a BA in Film and TV Production from the Faculty of Drama Arts, University of Belgrade, MLIS in Library and Information Science, and PhD in Information Science, both from Rutgers University. Aleksandra's research interest lie in the areas of computer-supported cooperative work, human-computer interaction, and health informatics. She has been involved in research projects that investigated synchronous collaboration across dissimilar computer platforms, user interface design for searching emotional content in large video databases, and techniques and tools for evaluating interactive question-answering (QA) systems used by intelligence analysts. Her dissertation research (completed under the supervision of Dr. Michael Lesk, advisor/chair; Dr. Marilyn Tremaine; Dr. Jeffrey Robinson; and, Dr. James Lin, outside member, Siemens Corporate Research) focused on understanding collaboration, teamwork errors, and information behavior of trauma teams while treating severely injured patients early after injury. Aleksandra will continue studying trauma teams as a postdoctoral fellow on a recently funded NSF project, on which she also serves as a Co-PI.

Sponsored by the Center for Lifelong Learning & Design.

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