At the Center of The Galaxy: The Integrative Role of Medical Progress Notes

Jørgen P. Bansler, Erling C. Havn, Troels Sune Mønsted, Kjeld Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Studies of the medical record have generally taken the progress notes as just
one entity among many. In contrast, we argue that progress notes are a coordinative artifact of a rather special kind that constitute the core of the medical record, in which physicians organize and summarize the immense amount of data that is available in the modern hospital environment. The study we report indicates that narrative plays a fundamental role in the way physicians document their findings and thoughts in the progress notes, because it allows them to not only record “facts” but also – by filtering, interpreting, organizing and qualifying information – to impose some order on events. Furthermore, we show how physicians use the progress notes to question available information, speculate about possible or plausible reasons for why something has happened, and suggest appropriate lines of action. This insight has important implications for the design of EMR systems.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2013
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventThe 4th International Workshop on Infrastructures for Healthcare: Action Research, Interventions, and Participatory Design - Tromsø, Norway
Duration: 13 Jun 201314 Jun 2013


WorkshopThe 4th International Workshop on Infrastructures for Healthcare
Internet address

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