Sunday in the Park Watching Dogs and Thinking about Clinical Groupware

I do some of my best thinking while watching dogs gambol in the park (for example, see Does Your Pediatric EMR’s Form Follow Function, or Does Its Function Follow Form?).

A couple of days ago I drafted a definition for clinical groupware (Clinical Groupware: A Definition). There are things I like about it (with respect to the five requirements for a good definition) but it is by no means perfect (few definitions are). I needed to let my thinking on the subject incubate, the second step in the Wallas five step model of creativity: 1) preparation (which I’d already done to write  Clinical Groupware, Care Coordination, and EMR Workflow Systems: Key Ideas), 2) incubation, 3) intimation, 4) illumination, and 5) verification.

“Incubation is defined as a process of unconscious recombination of thought elements that were stimulated through conscious work at one point in time, resulting in novel ideas at some later point in time…The experience of leaving a problem for a period of time, then finding that the difficulty evaporates on returning to the problem, or even more striking, that the solution “comes out of the blue”, when thinking about something else, is widespread. Many guides to effective thinking and problem solving advise the reader to set problems aside for a time.” (

So I went to Atlanta’s Piedmont Park and enjoyed myself. As ideas occurred to me (intimation and illumination) I wrote them in a notebook. I would have tweeted them (@chuckwebster), but they were too fragmented and half-baked even for Twitter.

I’ll write a blog post based on all that cogitating. Your reaction to it will complete the last stage of the creative process: verification (for at least this cycle of revision of the clinical groupware definition). Stay tuned!

Until then, here are the pictures (and an introductory video).

Pan of Piedmont Park and Explanation of the Dog Halo Effect

harper-webSorry Harper, you just don’t have enough hair to exhibit the dog halo effect.

feathers-webMediocre halo effect, but a magnificent shadow!

dog-halo21Good candidate, face stage left please. 

dog-halo1-webThank you! We’ll let you know.

lion-webHey! There’s a lion loose in the park. Doesn’t anyone notice?
(Exotic wild animals at large in Atlanta are becoming commonplace. )

 dog-haloNow that’s what I’m talking about! Perfect 10!

dont-want-to-leave-webI know how you feel Harper. I don’t want to leave either.

Thank you Graham Wallas, for making work so much fun.

Hey, someone’s been chewing on my notebook–Harper!

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