Sociotechnical analyis of a neonatal ICU

Leanne Currie, Barbara Sheehan, Phillip L. Graham, Peter Stetson, Kenrick Cato, Adam Wilcox

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Sociotechnical theory has been used to inform the development of computer systems in the complex and dynamic environment of healthcare. The key components of the sociotechnical system are the workers, their practices, their mental models, their interactions, and the tools used in the work process. We conducted a sociotechnical analysis of a neonatal intensive care unit towards the development of decision support for antimicrobial prescribing. We found that the core task was to save the baby in the face of complex and often incomplete information. Organizational climate characteristics were pride in clinical and educational practice. In addition, the structure of work identified interdisciplinary teamwork with some communication breakdown and interruptive work environment. Overall, sociotechnical analysis provided a solid method to understand work environment during the decision support development process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConnecting Health and Humans - Proceedings of NI2009
Subtitle of host publicationThe 10th International Congress on Nursing Informatics
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781607500247
StatePublished - 2009
Event10th International Congress on Nursing Informatics: Connecting Health and Humans, NI2009 - Helsinki, Finland
Duration: Jun 28 2009Jul 1 2009

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Conference10th International Congress on Nursing Informatics: Connecting Health and Humans, NI2009


  • Clinical decision support
  • Sociotechnical analysis


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