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Trauma centers are stressful, noisy, and dynamic places, with many people performing complex tasks, and with no technological aids to support their operations. This paper describes research that uses an emergency room as a natural laboratory for investigating information behavior and information sources of trauma team members. Data from interviews, focus groups, and videotaped trauma resuscitations revealed specific information needs in four distinct phases of a trauma event. The most commonly utilized information sources include the patient, vital signs monitor, x-rays images, and other team members. Additionally, data indicated inefficiencies in teamwork and communication. Results from this study can be used to derive system requirements for the design of decision and communication support systems for trauma teams.
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