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physical and occupational therapy

Information and knowledge are the bedrock upon which we all make decisions. One change in our work environment that has the potential to facilitate communication and enforce adherence of global best practices is the transformation of the medical record from written to digital form. The role of health information technology (HIT; a technological framework for improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of the health care delivery system) in healthcare continues to evolve as the adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) and information technologies becomes more widespread. Multidisciplinary teams of ICU providers make decisions and deliver care to acutely ill patients in complex environments. The interaction between providers and technology in these environments may have a profound impact on the quality of care delivered to the patient (Figure ​(Figure2).2). The adoption of EMR has been proposed as a valuable tool for driving improvements in the quality of that care. These conclusions are based on observational and experimental studies suggesting that HIT has the potential to assist in making healthcare safer and more efficient. A recent review demonstrated that 92% of HIT studies found either a positive or mixed-positive impact on the quality of care delivered to patients [8].Figure 2

The distributed cognitive network – understanding how multidisciplinary teams deliver care in complex environments. A network of providers, utilizing a variety of environmental artifacts (data from electronic medical records, bedside monitors, to do lists from other providers, notes taken on rounds) make decisions and act upon them to deliver care to the patient. Understanding how that network functions, where its vulnerabilities lie and how it reacts to changes in the operational environment will facilitate the emergence of tools (organizational, decision support, smart alerts, novel user interfaces, and ambient intelligence applications) that improve the reliability, efficacy and safety of the care delivered to the bedside. In this illustration the artificial agent (health information technology-enabled decision supports, for example) act in co-operation with the human agents (nurses, doctors) to facilitate the development of a care plan.