This project was undertaken to test to test the viability of Firefly, an equipment location system, in the Emergency Department of a large hospital system. We conducted baseline and post-implementation ethnographic assessments.
Research findings indicate that locating equipment is only part of a larger seeking behavior which is made up of restoring, locating and retrieving. Further, asking someone is the most expedient way to find stuff. Hence, seeking staff is a critical part of finding equipment, with communication at the center of that effort. Firefly was viewed as the option of last resort because it did not include a communications element. Hence it was used only by staff who were looking for equipment themselves or if no one could locate the item.
Key recommendations from this study includes integration of a robust communication capability; to conduct lean, iterative, rapid prototypes; to include staff earlier in the development and testing of tools; to socialize prototype development and trial with local staff.