Design of a summary screen for an ICU patient data management system

Med Biol Eng Comput. 1997 Jul;35(4):397-401. doi: 10.1007/BF02534097.


The paper describes a used-centred design for the summary screen of a computerised ICU patient data management system (PDMS). The screen also forms the resting state display, or default screen, and provides the principal navigation tool to other functionality within the system. The design process identified the most frequent potential users of this screen to be the nurses. Their tasks and the information resources required to perform them were analysed. The analysis identified that the nurses' main task of planning and implementing patient care required an awareness of a set of physiological parameters which provided an overview of the patient's general condition. Novel formats are proposed for displaying the trends in physiological parameters and these have been incorporated into a proposed screen design. These display formats have been evaluated by ICU nurses; they were adjudged to be clear, relevant, easy to learn and simple to use. Nurses considered the content of the screen, and the display formats used, to be suitable for maintaining an awareness of a patient's state during routine patient management.

MeSH terms

  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / organization & administration*
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • User-Computer Interface*