JMIR Human Factors

Making health care interventions and technologies usable, safe, and effective

2014-04-17

Announcing a New Journal: JMIR Human Factors JMIR Human Factors is a new spin-off journal of JMIR, the leading open access eHealth journal (Impact Factor 2010: 4.7). JMIR Human Factors is a multidisciplinary journal with contributions from medical researchers, engineers, and social scientists. JMIR Human Factors focuses on understanding how the behaviour and thinking of humans can influence and shape the design of health care interventions and technologies, and how the design can be evaluated and improved to make health care interventions and technologies usable, safe, and effective. We are currently soliciting papers for the inaugural issue - be a founding author of this new journal and submit your paper before 1. Dec 2014. All articles are professionally copyedited and typeset, ready for indexing in PubMed/PubMed Central. Possible contributions include usability studies and heuristic evaluations, studies concerning ergonomics and error prevention, design studies for medical devices and healthcare systems/workflows, enhancing teamwork through Human Factors based teamwork training, measuring non-technical skills in staff like leadership, communication, situational awareness and teamwork, and healthcare policies and procedures to reduce errors and increase safety. EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS ARE ALSO CURRENTLY BEING RECRUITED, PLEASE CONTACT jmir.editorial.office@gmail.com IF YOU ARE INTERESTED. Open Access *** No Submission Fees or Publication Fees humanfactors.jmir.org

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Journal Description

Announcing a New Journal:  JMIR Human Factors

JMIR Human Factors is a new spin-off journal of JMIR, the leading open access eHealth journal (Impact Factor 2013: 4.7). 

JMIR Human Factors is a multidisciplinary journal with contributions from medical researchers, engineers, and social scientists. JMIR Human Factors focuses on understanding how the behaviour and thinking of humans can influence and shape the design of health care interventions and technologies, and how the design can be evaluated and improved to make health care interventions and technologies usable, safe, and effective.

We are currently soliciting papers for the inaugural issue - be a founding author of this new journal and submit your paper before 1. October 2014. All articles are professionally copyedited and typeset, ready for indexing in PubMed/PubMed Central. Possible contributions include usability studies and heuristic evaluations, studies concerning ergonomics and error prevention, design studies for medical devices and healthcare systems/workflows, enhancing teamwork through Human Factors based teamwork training, measuring non-technical skills in staff like leadership, communication, situational awareness and teamwork, and healthcare policies and procedures to reduce errors and increase safety.

Submit your paper before October 1st, 2014 to be a founding author of this new journal.

Editorial Board members are currently being recruited, please contact us if you are interested (jmir.editorial.office at gmail.com).

 
Open Access *** No Submission Fees or Publication Fees

 
 

Recent Articles:

  • Diversity. Image source: http://www.istockphoto.com/photo/company-team-32422766.

    Applying Human Factors Principles to Mitigate Usability Issues Related to Embedded Assumptions in Health Information Technology Design

    Abstract:

    Background: There is growing recognition that design flaws in health information technology (HIT) lead to increased cognitive work, impact workflows, and produce other undesirable user experiences that contribute to usability issues and, in some cases, patient harm. These usability issues may in turn contribute to HIT utilization disparities and patient safety concerns, particularly among “non-typical” HIT users and their health care providers. Health care disparities are associated with poor health outcomes, premature death, and increased health care costs. HIT has the potential to reduce these disparate outcomes. In the computer science field, it has long been recognized that embedded cultural assumptions can reduce the usability, usefulness, and safety of HIT systems for populations whose characteristics differ from “stereotypical” users. Among these non-typical users, inappropriate embedded design assumptions may contribute to health care disparities. It is unclear how to address potentially inappropriate embedded HIT design assumptions once detected. Objective: The objective of this paper is to explain HIT universal design principles derived from the human factors engineering literature that can help to overcome potential usability and/or patient safety issues that are associated with unrecognized, embedded assumptions about cultural groups when designing HIT systems. Methods: Existing best practices, guidance, and standards in software usability and accessibility were subjected to a 5-step expert review process to identify and summarize those best practices, guidance, and standards that could help identify and/or address embedded design assumptions in HIT that could negatively impact patient safety, particularly for non-majority HIT user populations. An iterative consensus-based process was then used to derive evidence-based design principles from the data to address potentially inappropriate embedded cultural assumptions. Results: Design principles that may help identify and address embedded HIT design assumptions are available in the existing literature. Conclusions: Evidence-based HIT design principles derived from existing human factors and informatics literature can help HIT developers identify and address embedded cultural assumptions that may underlie HIT-associated usability and patient safety concerns as well as health care disparities.

  • Fatigue. Image Source: bark, https://www.flickr.com/photos/barkbud/4906055297/, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution V.2.

    Acceptance of New Technology: A Usability Test of a Computerized Adaptive Test for Fatigue in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Abstract:

    Background: Little is known about the acceptance and usability of computerized adaptive tests (CATs) among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The main difference between completing a CAT and a traditional questionnaire concerns item presentation. CATs only provide one item at a time on the screen, and skipping forward or backward to review and change already given answers is often not possible. Objective: The objective of this study was to examine how patients with RA experience a Web-based CAT for fatigue. Methods: In individual sessions, participants filled in the CAT while thinking aloud, and were subsequently interviewed about their experience with the new instrument. The technology acceptance model (TAM) was used to structure the results. Results: The participants were 15 patients with RA. They perceived the CAT as clear, brief, and easy to use. They were positive about answering one question per screen, the changing response options, layout, progress bar, and item number. There were 40% (6/15) of the participants that also mentioned that they experienced the completion of the CAT as useful and pleasant, and liked the adaptive test mechanism. However, some participants noted that not all items were applicable to everybody, and that the wordings of questions within the severity dimension were often similar. Conclusions: Participants perceived the “CAT Fatigue RA” as easy to use, and also its usefulness was expressed. A 2.0 version has been improved according to the participants’ comments, and is currently being used in a validation study before it will be implemented in daily clinical practice. Our results give a first indication that CAT methodology may outperform traditional questionnaires not merely on measurement precision, but also on usability and acceptance valuation.

  • iCanFit homepage.

    Testing Usability and Acceptability of a Web Application to Promote Physical Activity (iCanFit) Among Older Adults

    Abstract:

    Background: Most older Americans do not exercise regularly and many have chronic conditions. Among an increasing number of fitness mobile and Web apps, few are designed for older adults with chronic conditions despite high ownership rates of mobile tools and Internet access in this population. We designed a mobile-enabled Web app, iCanFit, to promote physical activity in this population. Objective: This study aimed to test the usability and acceptability of iCanFit among older adults in a community setting. Methods: A total of 33 older adults (aged 60 to 82 years) were recruited from communities to test iCanFit. Of these 33, 10 participants completed the usability testing in a computer room of a senior community center. A research assistant timed each Web application task and observed user navigation behavior using usability metrics. The other 23 participants used the website on their own devices at home and provided feedback after 2-3 weeks by completing a user-experience survey assessing ease of use, helpfulness, and satisfaction with iCanFit. Results: Participants completed all 15 tasks on the iCanFit site in an average of 31 (SD 6.9) minutes; some tasks required more time or needed assistance. Participants’ comments were addressed to improve the site’s senior friendliness and ease of use. In the user-experience survey, participants reported high levels of usefulness and satisfaction. More than 56% (13/23) of participants indicated they would continue using the program and recommend it to their families or friends. Conclusions: Testing usability and acceptability is a very important step in developing age-appropriate and user-friendly Web apps, especially for older adults. Testing usability and acceptability in a community setting can help reveal users’ experiences and feedback in a real-life setting. Our study suggested that older adults had a high degree of acceptance of iCanFit and could use it easily. The efficacy trial of iCanFit is currently underway.

  • Narrowing the skills gap for innovation in the hospital sector. Source: Can Stock Photo Inc, 2014. Invoice / Order Id : 4800451.

    Narrowing the Skills Gap for Innovation: An Empirical Study in the Hospital Sector

    Abstract:

    Background: The current financial crisis and the increasing burden of chronic diseases are challenging hospitals to enhance their innovation capacity to deliver new and more effective health services. However, the shortage of skills has been widely recognized as a key obstacle for innovation. Ensuring the presence of a skilled workforce has become a priority for the health system in Portugal and across Europe. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the demand of new skills and their influence in both investments in innovation and development of skills. Methods: We used a mixed-methods approach combining statistical analysis of data survey and content analysis of semistructured interviews with the Administration Boards of hospitals, using a nominal group technique. Results: The results illustrate an increasing demand of a broad range of skills for innovation development, including responsibility and quality consciousness (with a significant increase of 55%, 52/95), adaptation skills (with an increase of 44%, 42/95) and cooperation and communication skills (with an increase of 55%, 52/95). Investments in the development of skills for innovation are mainly focused on aligning professional training with an organizational strategy (69%, 66/95) as well as collaboration in taskforces (61%, 58/95) and cross-department teams (60%, 57/95). However, the dynamics between the supply and demand of skills for innovation are better explained through a broader perspective of organizational changes towards enhancing learning opportunities and engagement of health professionals to boost innovation. Conclusions: The results of this study illustrate that hospitals are unlikely to enhance their innovation capacity if they pursue strategies failing to match the skills needed. Within this context, hospitals with high investments in innovation tend to invest more in skills development. The demand of skills and investments in training are influenced by many other factors, including the hospital’s strategies, as well as changes in the work organization. Relevant implications for managers and policy makers can be drawn from the empirical findings of this paper, building on the current efforts from leading innovating hospitals that are already defining the future of health care.

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