Table 1

Descriptions of Macrocognitive Functions

Sensemaking and learning (SL)Deliberate attempt to find coherent situational understanding
Modifying a mental model or generating a new one
Includes sense giving (presenting an understanding to others to adopt)
Decision making (DM)Decisions in, or about, patient care and administrative processes
Planning and replanning (PL)Shaping or reshaping patient care or administrative processes
Monitoring and problem detection (MD)Tracking the progress or outcomes of patient care or administrative processes
Planned, ad hoc (“noticing”), formal (data collection), or informal
Managing the unknown, unclear, unexpected, and irregular (MU)Planned or anticipatory (contingencies, fallbacks)
Evaluating/estimating risks
Unplanned, “scrambling”
Coordinating (CO)Any activity that helps synchronize 2 or more individuals in a patient care or administrative process, especially transmitting information or expectations
Maintenance of “common ground,” shared expectations/understanding/mental models of processes