Temporality in medical work: Time also matters

Madhu C. Reddy*, Paul Dourish, Wanda Pratt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


CSCW has long been concerned with the distribution of activities in time and in space, but the problems of distributed work have often taken analytic and technical precedence. In this paper, we are interested in the issue of temporality in collaborative work. In particular, we want to examine how the temporal organization of action is experienced by those who are involved in it. To investigate this phenomenon, we conducted a field study of medical workers in a surgical intensive care unit. Through this study, we highlight the temporal organization of the work. In particular, we introduce and describe three temporal features - temporal trajectories, temporal rhythms, and temporal horizons - that emerge from and influence the work of healthcare providers as they attempt to seek, provide, and manage information during the course of their daily work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-53
Number of pages25
JournalComputer Supported Cooperative Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Collaborative work
  • Information seeking
  • Medical work
  • Temporality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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