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Algorithms and agency in hospitals

AHK-COPRA is a subproject of the Hans Böckler Foundation funded collaborative project "Algorithms and Agency in Hospitals". The subproject examines barriers to use from the perspective of medical and nursing users of the patient data management system COPRA in intensive care units. The study focuses on usability aspects as well as training, co-determination and agency aspects and their effects on job satisfaction.

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Intensive care medicine has a particularly high degree of mechanization and is thus very well suited to visualizing the consequences of the digital transformation of medicine. In the course of supporting workflows, electronic patient data management systems (PDMS) are now used in many intensive care units - including those at Charité. These offer many advantages, such as higher documentation quality or the automatic transfer of vital parameters. Furthermore, quality indicators can be calculated on the basis of the data in the system, which are relevant for quality management.

Various studies show positive effects of PDMS, such as time savings, better communication, fewer treatment errors and higher staff satisfaction. Other studies fail to demonstrate these effects or even find opposite effects, such as staff experiencing technology-induced stress. A key mediating factor here is the user-friendliness of the PDMS and the user experience with the system. A user-friendly design that fits the work processes is essential for a successful implementation of such systems, both in terms of patient well-being and staff well-being.   

Innovations and perspectives

Previous studies indicate a lack of focus on investigating the user experience of existing PDMS. Therefore, in the interest of staff well-being and optimal patient care, user experience with COPRA will be studied specifically to enable iterative improvement of the system. The results of the study can provide useful guidance for designers, developers and management decisions for other clinics and systems as well. 

Project duration

 09/2021 - 09/2023


Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Daniel Fürstenau

Business Information Systems (IMI)

Project partners

Prof. Dr. Christian Meske, Ruhr-Universität Bochum 

Prof. Dr. Marc Dewey, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin 

Prof. Dr. Martin Gersch, Freie Universität Berlin