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Abstract

A number of pre-existing teams are trained to operate in crisis. These teams can be found in aviation, navy, nuclear power, offshore oil, air traffic control facilities, and trauma centers. Understanding how to support pre-existing teams like these, with IT is essential. To date, most support for these teams is automation support such as an electronic checklist for an airplane flight crew responding to an engine fire rather than collaboration support such as linking paramedics in the field to doctors in emergency rooms. While automated support is rapidly developing, very little consideration has been given to enhancing the collaboration support for teams that face crisis. With advances in network capacity and sensors, IT has enabled pre-existing teams that face crisis the opportunity to obtain collaboration support from others in the organization. Collaboration with other human experts is necessary to aid problem discovery and to consider ramifications of responses. Here we suggest a preliminary set of IT system guiding principles to support collaboration for a particular, but common type of pre-existing team that faces crisis. These principles are based on two frameworks that have been developed to mitigate the effects of crisis. One is an organizational approach called the High Reliability Organization (HRO); the other, a team approach, was developed in the aviation community known as Crew Resource Management (CRM). Here we briefly explain each approach, highlight their principles, and then suggest principles of a Collaboration Crisis IT (CCIT) system to support the collaboration needs of teams that face crisis.

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