Cooperative Communication System for a Burn Intensive Care Unit

Intensive Care Unit


Clinicians need to find and use the most important, or salient, information to make optimal patient care decisions. The fragile health of patients who are admitted to a Burn Intensive Care Unit (BICU) requires clinicians and clinical teams to make time-pressured diagnostic and therapeutic decisions based on complex sets of information. Barriers to these decisions, and related behaviors, which we term “cognitive work,” delay patient care and increase care cost, length of stay, and the potential for misadventures.


ARA developed a real-time IT system to support BICU individual and team cognitive work and communication. Our approach enables clinicians to obtain salient information through:

  1. role-based data views,
  2. ability to personally configure displays, and
  3. data mining to reveal trends and patterns.

ARA programmed user interface and data mining functions to develop increasingly refined prototypes that we evaluated with BICU clinicians at each stage through agile software development. Our evaluations verified improvements to decision making that result from clinician use of the CCS.


Better decision support and communication reduces care costs, and cuts patient length of stay through more efficient, timely care team decisions that return patients to better health, faster.  

Applied Cognition

Cognitive Solutions

Our cognitive capabilities combined with our expertise in the physical sciences allow us to develop solutions that enhance the performance of... more