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The reconfiguration of triage by introduction of technology

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  • Marc Jentsch
  • Leonardo Ramirez
  • Lisa Wood
  • Erion Elmasllari


Triage is the process of sorting patients by order of treatment necessity in large scale emergencies. Usually, a paper tag is attached to each patient containing their classification and the results of an initial, quick diagnosis. Several projects have aimed to electronically augment the process by using ubiquitous computing components. In this paper we present drawbacks of introducing technology to the process, which have not been discussed elsewhere, based on an extensive set of expert workshops discussing the employment of technology in triage with the aid of technology probes. Our main finding is that the common set of functionalities of electronic triage systems involves unwanted reconfiguration of triage processes. By presenting a set of implications for the design of these mobile technologies, we show how potential negative effects can be mitigated.