Save Time, Save Lives

Save Time,
Save Lives

Trauma Care in the Emergency Department

Trauma Care in the
Emergency Department


In collaboration with Mater Hospital Dublin, our design team was challenged to envision new systems to advance major trauma care in Ireland. Therefore we focused on improving pre-hospital care and the information flow for the Trauma Team within the Emergency Department.


Our 3 member design team was able to get to know the processes of the pre-hospital care team as well as the staff in the emergency department better through ethnographic research and in-depth interviews in order to design prototypes of future service solutions.


The final solution consists of three main elements: the live transcription Smart Whiteboard, a renewed space set-up within the Trauma Bay, and the 360-degree viewable Digital Screen to provide the Trauma Team with crucial information to save patients’ lives.

Project Brief

Major trauma involves complex injuries that can lead to prolonged disability or death. Most acute hospitals in Ireland admit trauma patients, regardless of the level of trauma expertise. That is why patients must be transferred to a second hospital, which can lead to life-threatening delays in decision-making and treatment.

Ethnographic Research

On-site Research in Hospital and Ambulance, March 2022

PRIMARY RESEARCH In order to tackle that problem, our team started by understanding the processes of the pre-hospital care team as well as the everyday work of staff in the emergency department. Therefore, we conducted interviews with paramedics, ED nurses and doctors.
20 hours observation
4 Paramedic interviews 
6 ED staff interviews

2 Patient interviews

JOURNEY MAPPING Based on research insights, we develped a patient’s journey map to identify the critical points in the trauma care process from the moment of an emergency call to the handover of the patient in the emergency department in the hospital.  




Patient’s Journey Map

WhatsApp Image 2022-03-22 at 13.24.53

Research evaluation & feedback with staff, March 2022

FOCUS After the research process and validation of our collected information by medical staff, our team focused on improving information pathways and more effective communication by emergency department staff in the crucial minutes before the trauma patient arrives. 



Problem Definition

Our research found that repeating, writing down, or verbally communicating information that is important to patient survival up to five times is problematic. This time can be shortened and used more effectively.

Ideation & Prototyping

Ideation, April 2022

INITIAL IDEAS In order to make the communication more efficient, we focused onthe specific analysis of the required information for staff members as well as the existing technology. With visualisations of first communication improvements, we talked to ED nurses to validate the ideas.



FURTHER RESEARCH It was possible for me to observed a trauma simulation and the used communication tools to check the suitability of our ideas within an emergency situation.



Trauma Simulation, April 2022


Concept: Light and Signage in Resus Bay, April 2022

CONCEPTING Based on the initial ideas, we developed solutions for an efficient use of the physical trauma space as well as the technology used to transfer crucial patient information.



CONCEPT VALIDATION We discussed these concepts with ED nurses and concultants in the hospital to verify the applicability of the ideas and to increase the level of detail.




Physical space prototype together with hospital staff, April 2022

Final Interventions

The final concept to improve Major Trauma Care consists of several physical and technological touchpoints, which are used in the Emergency Department before, during and after the treatment of a Trauma patient.


Future Trauma Bay

  • Intelligible role signage on the floor to support Trauma Team with their lineup before patient arrives 
  • Color-coded light from ceiling indicates the spots for each Trauma Team role
  • reduced signage on the wall and on the floor to clearly mark quiet zone


Smart Whiteboard 

  • Smart Whiteboard in ED & Resus bay 
  • Transmission of patient information after receiving emergency call (acronym ASHICE)
  • Monitoring the patient's administered medications before and during the treatment in ED
  • No loss of time due to repetition of information 


Automatic VOCERA Broadcast

  • For transmission of patient information which is  available before the arrival of the patient
  • Verbal information is automatically synchronized with the Smart Whiteboard
  • Integration of the existing systems of VOCERA broadcast


Digital Resus Screen

  • Digital screen in resus bay
  • Access to actionable information for trauma team (e.g. Trauma Checklists)
  • 360° viewable access for whole trauma team

This video shows all developed touchpoints in major trauma care in unison:

Final Service Video, April 2022

Process Summary

Project Timeline Save Time, Save Lives

Overview of 5-weeks design sprint · Double Diamond Process



Twitter Post, July 2022

SUCCESS The response from staff was extremely positive, which led to selected clinic staff further developing the solution. Due to this collaboration of interdisciplinary skill sets, the final design was awarded “Best Pitch” and has resulted in being funded by the HSE Spark Innovation Fund for implementation.

Date Mar / Apr 2022
Client MATER Hospital Dublin

Date Mar / Apr 2022
Client MATER Hospital Dublin

Team Yuyu Sun, Ashleen Nee
Role Service Designer, UI Designer

Further projects

© Linda Klotzbach 2023

© Linda Klotzbach 2023

© Linda Klotzbach 2023