Thinking Together: Modeling Clinical Decision-Support as a Sociotechnical System.
Computerized clinical decision-support systems are members of larger sociotechnical systems, composed of human and automated actors, who send, receive, and manipulate artifacts. Sociotechnical consideration is rare in the literature. This makes it difficult to comparatively evaluate the success of CDS implementations, and it may also indicate that sociotechnical context receives inadequate consideration in practice. To facilitate sociotechnical consideration, we developed the Thinking Together model, a flexible diagrammatical means of representing CDS systems as sociotechnical systems. To develop this model, we examined the literature with the lens of Distributed Cognition (DCog) theory. We then present two case studies of vastly different CDSSs, one almost fully automated and the other with minimal automation, to illustrate the flexibility of the Thinking Together model. We show that this model, informed by DCog and the CDS literature, are capable of supporting both research, by enabling comparative evaluation, and practice, by facilitating explicit sociotechnical planning and communication.