The NEONATE project has three major objectives:

  • to investigate on a systematic basis, a comprehensive range of actions taken in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • to identify the terms used to describe patient state by staff at different levels and types of expertise
  • to use the results of these investigations to implement and evaluate computerised aids designed to support clinical decision making

Making more data available to decision makers does not necessarily of itself lead to improved care. This has been demonstrated in the neonatal intensive care unit where providing nurses and junior doctors with detailed trends of physiological information does not lead to improved patient outcomes. Our earlier studies (COGNATE project) have shown that a major reason for this finding is that the staff caring for the infants observe them closely and frequently to obtain more information than just the data shown on the monitors.