The distributed cognitive network - understanding how multidisciplinary teams deliver care in complex environments. A network of providers, utilizing a variety of environmental artifacts (data from electronic medical records, bedside monitors, to do lists from other providers, notes taken on rounds) make decisions and act upon them to deliver care to the patient. Understanding how that network functions, where its vulnerabilities lie and how it reacts to changes in the operational environment will facilitate the emergence of tools (organizational, decision support, smart alerts, novel user interfaces, and ambient intelligence applications) that improve the reliability, efficacy and safety of the care delivered to the bedside. In this illustration the artificial agent (health information technology-enabled decision supports, for example) act in co-operation with the human agents (nurses, doctors) to facilitate the development of a care plan. Modified from Figure 1a in .