Information share for
Trauma care

Improving communication flow in the workspace for emergency staff in major trauma instances


2022 - ongoing


Mater Major Trauma Team
Mater Emergency Department
Strategic Projects team


HSE Spark Innovation


When patients are admitted to the Emergency department after a traumatic incident, team communication and information flow are critical and time sensitive. In the first 30 minutes after arriving, hospital staff have to make a life-impacting decision every 72 seconds.

Additionally, team members arrive on the scene at different times and need to be brought up to speed immediately.

In these stressful emergency situations, how might we communicate important information about the patient's condition, and familiarise the ever changing staff with each other and their roles so they can quickly and effectively get to work?


We asked a team of Masters students from NCAD to look at methods of communication and information flow in the 'trauma bay’ - the dedicated space where patients are managed when they first arrive after a major traumatic incident.

The students interviewed staff and observed simulation training sessions to understand the workflow and interactions during trauma situations. They also conducted observational studies in the current Emergency department and carried out their own simulations to test out new ideas. This research led to a number of key insights


Hospital staff arrive at the trauma bay at different times and have to refer to physical checklists and charts to get an understanding of the current situation, which is time consuming and cumbersome.
Important patient information is repeated, written down or passed on verbally up to five times resulting in risk of information loss.
One small screen displays the patient vitals and might be difficult to see depending on the staff member’s location in the room.

Current goals

The team of designers recommended introducing a large split screen monitor that can display real time patient information in a central location in the room. This includes information about patient status and vitals, checklists of procedures, a timer for keeping track of procedures in progress, and information on the team in the room.

A clear and accessible digital display of this key information will enable staff who arrive on the scene to quickly understand the current situation, what has been done so far and what is the next move to better support the patient’s outcome. The team across the Mater and NCAD will continue to iterate and test this and other concepts so the clinical team can work better and faster.