Representation, Coordination, and Information Artifacts in Medical Work

Madhusudhana C Reddy, Paul Dourish

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Interactive information systems must not only encode information internally but must also produce externally visible representations, which may be inscribed into various forms, including visual and paper artifacts. In looking at visual information, many investigators have noted the relationship between representational forms and practice; maps for example, provide resources for particular forms of interpretation and computation, highlight certain features and omit others, reflect power relationships between competing groups, etc. One particularly interesting aspect of digital media, though, is the ease with which they can be translated into multiple coordinated and concurrent visual representations. In our studies of medical work, we have found that the issues of visual representation are a key element of how work practices are coordinated. Different views help to stitch together diverse work practices surrounding a particular task or a particular patient. This is particularly true with respect to the temporal aspects of work, which have been relatively underexamined in conventional studies of the cooperative use of electronic information systems.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResources, Co-Evolution and Artifacts
EditorsMark S Ackerman, Christine A Halverson, Thomas Erickson, Wendy A Kellogg
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781846289019
ISBN (Print)9781846289002
StatePublished - 2008


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