Physical space and information space: studies of collaboration in distributed multi-disciplinary medical team meetings

Taylor & Francis
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Behaviour & Information Technology, 2011, 30 (4), pp. 443 - 454
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We conducted field studies with three multi-disciplinary cancer teams at three hospitals. We investigated distributed multi-disciplinary team meetings (MDTMs) at each setting focusing on the organisational context, existing collaboration technology facilities and the use and availability of digital medical information systems. Our results highlight how factors such as room size, team size, seating arrangements, display configuration and variations in preparing and presenting medical information clearly influence the dynamics of the conversation and information sharing in distributed MDTMs. Our analysis shows how these configurations, arrangements and practices arise and the implications they have for any technical interventions that might be introduced. We discuss how to configure a collaborative work space to support information sharing and communication in distributed MDTMs, such as a shared physical space facilitating interaction, a shared information space affording varied styles of medical information interaction and, importantly, configuring available technologies and resources to support collaboration in shared spaces without compromising local contexts.
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