In Denmark emergency departments are newly established and still in a process of devising their procedures and technology support. Electronic whiteboards are a means of supporting clinicians in creating and maintaining the overview necessary to provide quality treatment of patients. The concrete meaning of the notion of overview is, however, fussy. To explore the notion of overview and how it might be affected by whiteboards, we conducted a survey at two emergency departments and, for reasons of comparison, a pediatric department. Our results indicate that respondents consider the information on their dry-erase whiteboards important to their overview and that they are positive toward the introduction of electronic whiteboards. At the emergency departments, the physicians’ and nurses’ overall perception of their overview correlates with different subcomponents of overview, suggesting differences in what constitutes an overview for these staff groups. Respondents’ expectations toward the electronic whiteboards are to a considerable extent explained by whether they perceive that the electronic whiteboards will improve patient treatment. This finding applies across staff groups. Several significant differences between the emergency-department respondents and the pediatric respondents call for caution in transferring electronic whiteboards designed for emergency departments to other departments.
Clinical overview, emergency departments, electronic whiteboards, healthcare informatics.