Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Weeding, S. & Dawson, L. (2012). Laptops on trolleys: Lessons from a mobile-wireless hospital ward. Journal of Medical Systems, 36 (6), 3933-3943.


Most hospital-based staff can be considered tobe mobile but many hospital information systems (HIS) arebased on fixed desk top computers. Wireless networksallow HIS to be brought to the point of care using mobiledevices such as laptops on trolleys thus providing datawhich can aid in clinical decision-making. The researchobjective of this project focusses on the collaborative designof a laptop solution for providing data at the point ofcare. The research approach was based on a combination ofaction research and design science. Action research techniquesincluding participant observation and informal oneto-one discussions were used to obtain information thatwas used to evolve the trolley design as a design artefactwhile addressing usability limitations. This paper presentsthree versions of the trolley design and how they evolvedbased on the feedback provided to the researchers fromclinical use. Also these results show that using iterativeaction research techniques (planning, action, evaluationand reflection) in collaborative research can provide productiveoutcomes addressing a specific design objectivewithin an acute care setting.