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JMIR Human Factors

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


Journal Description

JMIR Human Factors (JHF) is a PubMed-indexed, peer-reviewed sister journal of JMIR, a leading open access eHealth journal  (Impact Factor 2016: 5.175).
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. JHF aspires to lead health care towards a culture of testing and safety by promoting and publishing reports rigorously evaluating the usability and human factors aspects in health care, as well as encouraging the development and debate on new methods in this emerging field. 
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. Reviews, viewpoint papers and tutorials are as welcome as original research.

Editorial Board members are currently being recruited, please contact us if you are interested ( at


Recent Articles:

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: Public Domain Pictures; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    VA FitHeart, a Mobile App for Cardiac Rehabilitation: Usability Study


    Background: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) improves outcomes for patients with ischemic heart disease or heart failure but is underused. New strategies to improve access to and engagement in CR are needed. There is considerable interest in technology-facilitated home CR. However, little is known about patient acceptance and use of mobile technology for CR. Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a mobile app for technology-facilitated home CR and seek to determine its usability. Methods: We recruited patients eligible for CR who had access to a mobile phone, tablet, or computer with Internet access. The mobile app includes physical activity goal setting, logs for tracking physical activity and health metrics (eg, weight, blood pressure, and mood), health education, reminders, and feedback. Study staff demonstrated the mobile app to participants in person and then observed participants completing prespecified tasks with the mobile app. Participants completed the System Usability Scale (SUS, 0-100), rated likelihood to use the mobile app (0-100), questionnaires on mobile app use, and participated in a semistructured interview. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology and the Theory of Planned Behavior informed the analysis. On the basis of participant feedback, we made iterative revisions to the mobile app between users. Results: We conducted usability testing in 13 participants. The first version of the mobile app was used by the first 5 participants, and revised versions were used by the final 8 participants. From the first version to revised versions, task completion success rate improved from 44% (11/25 tasks) to 78% (31/40 tasks; P=.05), SUS improved from 54 to 76 (P=.04; scale 0-100, with 100 being the best usability), and self-reported likelihood of use remained high at 76 and 87 (P=.30; scale 0-100, with 100 being the highest likelihood). In interviews, patients expressed interest in tracking health measures (“I think it’ll be good to track my exercise and to see what I’m doing”), a desire for introductory training (“Initially, training with a technical person, instead of me relying on myself”), and an expectation for sharing data with providers (“It would also be helpful to share with my doctor, it just being a matter of clicking a button and sharing it with my doctor”). Conclusions: With participant feedback and iterative revisions, we significantly improved the usability of a mobile app for CR. Patient expectations for using a mobile app for CR include tracking health metrics, introductory training, and sharing data with providers. Iterative mixed-method evaluation may be useful for improving the usability of health technology.

  • Checking messages using Loop's mobile interface. Source: The Authors/; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    The Perceived Ease of Use and Usefulness of Loop: Evaluation and Content Analysis of a Web-Based Clinical Collaboration System


    Background: Patients with complex health care needs require the expertise of many health care providers. Communication, collaboration, and patient-centered care positively impact care quality and patient outcomes. Few technologies exist that facilitate collaboration between providers across settings of care and also engage the patient. We developed a Web-based clinical collaboration system, Loop, to address this gap. The likelihood of a technological system’s uptake is associated with its perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness. We engaged stakeholders in the conceptualization and development of Loop in an effort to maximize its intuitiveness and utility. Objective: This study aimed to report end users’ perceptions about the ease of use and usefulness of Loop captured during usability tests of Loop. Methods: Participants represented three user types (patients, caregivers, and health care providers) recruited from three populations (adults with cancer, adolescents and young adults with cancer, and children with medical complexity). We conducted usability testing over three iterative cycles of testing and development in both laboratory-based and off-site environments. We performed a content analysis of usability testing transcripts to summarize and describe participant perceptions about the ease of use and usefulness of Loop. Results: Participants enjoyed testing Loop and were able to use the core functions—composing, posting, and reading messages—with little difficulty. They had difficulty interpreting certain visual cues and design elements or the purpose of some features. This difficulty negatively impacted perceived ease of use but was primarily limited to auxiliary features. Participants predicted that Loop could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of communication between care team members; however, this perceived usefulness could be compromised by disruptions to personal workflow such as additional time or task requirements. Conclusions: Loop was perceived to have value as a collaboration system; however, usability testing findings indicate that some design and functional elements need to be addressed to improve ease of use. Additionally, participant concerns highlight the need to consider how a system can be implemented so as to minimize impact on workflow and optimize usefulness.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Second Version of Google Glass as a Wearable Socio-Affective Aid: Positive School Desirability, High Usability, and Theoretical Framework in a Sample of...


    Background: Computerized smartglasses are being developed as an assistive technology for daily activities in children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While smartglasses may be able to help with educational and behavioral needs, their usability and acceptability in children with ASD is largely unknown. There have been reports of negative social perceptions surrounding smartglasses use in mainstream populations, a concern given that assistive technologies may already carry their own stigma. Children with ASD may also have a range of additional behavioral, developmental, and social challenges when asked to use this emerging technology in school and home settings. Objective: The usability and acceptability of Glass Enterprise Edition (Glass), the successor to Google Glass smartglasses, were explored in children with ASD and their caregivers. Methods: Eight children with ASD and their caregivers were recruited to attend a demonstration session with Glass smartglasses the week they were publicly released. The children had a wide range of ability, including limited speech to speaking, and represented a full range of school ages (6 to 17 years). Children and caregivers were interviewed about their experience of using the smartglasses and whether they would use them at school and home. Results: All 8 children succeeded in using Glass and did not feel stressed (8/8, 100%) or experience any overwhelming sensory or emotional issues during the session (8/8, 100%). All 8 children (8/8, 100%) endorsed that they would be willing to wear and use the device in both home and school settings. Caregivers felt the experience was fun for the children (8/8, 100%), and most caregivers felt the experience was better than they had expected (6/8, 75%). Conclusions: A wide age and ability range of children with ASD used Glass immediately after it was released and found it to be usable and acceptable. Despite concerns about potential stigma or social acceptability, all of the children were prepared to use the technology in both home and school settings. Encouragingly, most caregivers noted a very positive response. There were no behavioral, developmental, or social- or stigma-related concerns during or after the session. Smartglasses may be a useful future technology for children with ASD and are readily accepted for use by children with ASD and their caregivers.

  • Source:; Copyright: Dariusz Sankowski; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Characteristics of Adults Seeking Health Care Provider Support Facilitated by Mobile Technology: Secondary Data Analysis


    Background: Mobile health technology is rapidly evolving with the potential to transform health care. Self-management of health facilitated by mobile technology can maximize long-term health trajectories of adults. Little is known about the characteristics of adults seeking Web-based support from health care providers facilitated by mobile technology. Objective: This study aimed to examine the following: (1) the characteristics of adults who seek human support from health care providers for health concerns using mobile technology rather than from family members and friends or others with similar health conditions and (2) the use of mobile health technology among adults with chronic health conditions. Findings of this study were interpreted in the context of the Efficiency Model of Support. Methods: We first described characteristics of adults seeking Web-based support from health care providers. Using chi-square tests for categorical variables and t test for the continuous variable of age, we compared adults seeking Web-based and conventional support by demographics. The primary aim was analyzed using multivariate logistic regression to examine whether chronic health conditions and demographic factors (eg, sex, income, employment status, race, ethnicity, education, and age) were associated with seeking Web-based support from health care providers. Results: The sample included adults (N=1453), the majority of whom were female 57.60% (837/1453), white 75.02% (1090/1453), and non-Hispanic 89.13% (1295/1453). The age of the participants ranged from 18 to 92 years (mean 48.6, standard deviation [SD] 16.8). The majority 76.05% (1105/1453) of participants reported college or higher level of education. A disparity was found in access to health care providers via mobile technology based on socioeconomic status. Adults with annual income of US $30,000 to US $100,000 were 1.72 times more likely to use Web-based methods to contact a health care provider, and adults with an annual income above US $100,000 were 2.41 to 2.46 times more likely to access health care provider support on the Web, compared with those with an annual income below US $30,000. After adjusting for other demographic covariates and chronic conditions, age was not a significant factor in Web-based support seeking. Conclusions: In this study, the likelihood of seeking Web-based support increased when adults had any or multiple chronic health conditions. A higher level of income and education than the general population was found to be related to the use of mobile health technology among adults in this survey. Future study is needed to better understand the disparity in Web-based support seeking for health issues and the clinicians’ role in promoting access to and use of mobile health technology.

  • Overview of the experts in the online module (montage). Source: The Authors /; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Deciding How to Stay Independent at Home in Later Years: Development and Acceptability Testing of an Informative Web-Based Module


    Background: Seniors with loss of autonomy may face decisions about whether they should stay at home or move elsewhere. Most seniors would prefer to stay home and be independent for as long as possible, but most are unaware of options that would make this possible. Objective: The study aimed to develop and test the acceptability of an interactive website for seniors, their caregivers, and health professionals with short interlinked videos presenting information about options for staying independent at home. Methods: The approach for design and data collection varied, involving a multipronged, user-centered design of the development process, qualitative interviews, and end-user feedback to determine content (ie, needs assessment) in phase I; module development (in English and French) in phase II; and survey to test usability and acceptability with end users in phase III. Phase I participants were a convenience sample of end users, that is, seniors, caregivers, and professionals with expertise in modifiable factors (eg, day centers, home redesign, equipment, community activities, and finances), enabling seniors to stay independent at home for longer in Quebec and Alberta, Canada. Phase II participants were bilingual actors; phase III participants included phase I participants and new participants recruited through snowballing. Qualitative interviews were thematically analyzed in phase II to determine relevant topics for the video-scripts, which were user-checked by interview participants. In phase III, the results of a usability questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: In phase I, interviews with 29 stakeholders, including 4 seniors, 3 caregivers, and 22 professionals, showed a need for a one-stop information resource about options for staying independent at home. They raised issues relating to 6 categories: cognitive autonomy, psychological or mental well-being, functional autonomy, social autonomy, financial autonomy, and people involved. A script was developed and evaluated by participants. In phase II, after 4 days in a studio with 15 bilingual actors, 30 videos were made of various experts (eg, family doctor, home care nurse, and social worker) presenting options and guidance for the decision-making process. These were integrated into an interactive website, which included a comments tool for visitors to add information. In phase III (n=21), 8 seniors (7 women, mean age 75 years), 7 caregivers, and 6 professionals evaluated the acceptability of the module and suggested improvements. Clarity of the videos scored 3.6 out of 4, length was considered right by 17 (separate videos) and 13 participants (all videos together), and 18 participants considered the module acceptable. They suggested that information should be tailored more, and that seniors may need someone to help navigate it. Conclusions: Our interactive website with interlinked videos presenting information about options for staying independent at home was deemed acceptable and potentially helpful by a diverse group of stakeholders.

  • Home page of the app developed to support patient postoperative rehabilitation after rotator cuff repair (montage). Source: The Authors /; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Challenges During Implementation of a Patient-Facing Mobile App for Surgical Rehabilitation: Feasibility Study


    Background: Translating research into practice, especially the implementation of digital health technologies in routine care, is increasingly important. Yet, there are few studies examining the challenges of implementing patient-facing digital technologies in health care settings. Objective: The aim of this study was to report challenges experienced when implementing mobile apps for patients to support their postsurgical rehabilitation in an orthopedic setting. Methods: A mobile app was tailored to the needs of patients undergoing rotator cuff repair. A 30-min usability session and a 12-week feasibility study were conducted with patients to evaluate the app in routine care. Implementation records (observation reports, issues log, and email correspondence) explored factors that hindered or facilitated patient acceptance. Interviews with clinicians explored factors that influenced app integration in routine care. Results: Participant completion was low (47%, 9/19). Factors that affected patient acceptance included digital literacy, health status, information technology (IT) infrastructure at home, privacy concerns, time limitations, the role of a caregiver, inconsistencies in instruction received from clinicians and the app, and app advice not reflective of patient progress over time. Factors that negatively influenced app integration in routine care included competing demands among clinicians, IT infrastructure in health care settings, identifying the right time to introduce the app to patients, user interface complexity for older patients, lack of coordination among multidisciplinary clinicians, and technical issues with app installation. Conclusions: Three insights were identified for mobile app implementation in routine care: (1) apps for patients need to reflect their journey over time and in particular, postoperative apps ought to be introduced as part of preoperative care with opportunities for patients to learn and adopt the app during their postoperative journey; (2) strategies to address digital literacy issues among patients and clinicians are essential; and (3) impact of the app on patient outcomes and clinician workflow needs to be communicated, monitored, and reviewed. Lastly, digital health interventions should supplement but not replace patient interaction with clinicians.

  • Paralympic athlete with visual impairment use a speech synthesizer to self-report Sports-Related Injuries and Illnesses. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    An eHealth Application of Self-Reported Sports-Related Injuries and Illnesses in Paralympic Sport: Pilot Feasibility and Usability Study


    Background: Sport participation is associated with a risk of sports-related injuries and illnesses, and Paralympic athletes’ additional medical issues can be a challenge to health care providers and medical staff. However, few prospective studies have assessed sports-related injuries and illnesses in Paralympic sport (SRIIPS) over time. Advances in mobile phone technology and networking systems offer novel opportunities to develop innovative eHealth applications for collection of athletes’ self-reports. Using eHealth applications for collection of self-reported SRIIPS is an unexplored area, and before initiation of full-scale research of SRIIPS, the feasibility and usability of such an approach needs to be ascertained. Objective: The aim of this study was to perform a 4-week pilot study and (1) evaluate the monitoring feasibility and system usability of a novel eHealth application for self-reported SRIIPS and (2) report preliminary data on SRIIPS. Methods: An eHealth application for routine collection of data from athletes was developed and adapted to Paralympic athletes. A 4-week pilot study was performed where Paralympic athletes (n=28) were asked to weekly self-report sport exposure, training load, general well-being, pain, sleep, anxiety, and possible SRIIPS. The data collection was followed by a poststudy use assessment survey. Quantitative data related to the system use (eg, completed self-reports, missing responses, and errors) were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The qualitative feasibility and usability data provided by the athletes were condensed and categorized using thematic analysis methods. Results: The weekly response rate was 95%. The athletes were of the opinion that the eHealth application was usable and feasible but stated that it was not fully adapted to Paralympic athletes and their impairments. For example, it was difficult to understand how a new injury or illness should be identified when the impairment was involved. More survey items related to the impairments were requested, as the athletes perceived that injuries and illnesses often occurred because of the impairment. Options for description of multifactorial incidents including an injury, an illness, and the impairment were also insufficient. Few technical issues were encountered, but athletes with visual impairment reported usability difficulties with the speech synthesizer. An incidence rate of 1.8 injuries and 1.7 illnesses per 100 hours of athlete exposure were recorded. The weekly pain prevalence was 56% and the impairment contributed to 20% of the reported incidents. Conclusions: The novel eHealth-based application for self-reported SRIIPS developed and tested in this pilot study was generally feasible and usable. With some adaptation to accommodate Paralympic athletes’ prerequisites and improved technical support for athletes with visual impairment, this application can be recommended for use in prospective studies of SRIIPS. Trial Registration: NCT02788500; (Archived by WebCite at

  • Tidbit, our Version 3 design and new test strip cassettes. The confusing pull-out tray has been eliminated, and the asymmetry of the device prevents users from inadvertently placing it upside down. Source: Figure 6 from; Copyright: the authors; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Enhancing the Usability of an Optical Reader System to Support Point-of-Care Rapid Diagnostic Testing: An Iterative Design Approach


    Background: In today’s health care environment, increasing costs and inadequate medical resources have created a worldwide need for more affordable diagnostic tools that are also portable, fast, and easy to use. To address this issue, numerous research and commercial efforts have focused on developing rapid diagnostic technologies; however, the efficacy of existing systems has been hindered by usability problems or high production costs, making them infeasible for deployment in at-home, point-of-care (POC), or resource-limited settings. Objective: The aim of this study was to create a low-cost optical reader system that integrates with any smart device and accepts any type of rapid diagnostic test strip to provide fast and accurate data collection, sample analysis, and diagnostic result reporting. Methods: An iterative design methodology was employed by a multidisciplinary research team to engineer three versions of a portable diagnostic testing device that were evaluated for usability and overall user receptivity. Results: Repeated design critiques and usability studies identified a number of system requirements and considerations (eg, software compatibility, biomatter contamination, and physical footprint) that we worked to incrementally incorporate into successive system variants. Our final design phase culminated in the development of Tidbit, a reader that is compatible with any Wi-Fi-enabled device and test strip format. The Tidbit includes various features that support intuitive operation, including a straightforward test strip insertion point, external indicator lights, concealed electronic components, and an asymmetric shape, which inherently signals correct device orientation. Usability testing of the Tidbit indicates high usability for potential user communities. Conclusions: This study presents the design process, specification, and user reception of the Tidbit, an inexpensive, easy-to-use, portable optical reader for fast, accurate quantification of rapid diagnostic test results. Usability testing suggests that the reader is usable among and can benefit a wide group of potential users, including in POC contexts. Generally, the methodology of this study demonstrates the importance of testing these types of systems with potential users and exemplifies how iterative design processes can be employed by multidisciplinary research teams to produce compelling technological solutions.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: StockSnap; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Formative Assessment: Design of a Web-Connected Sedentary Behavior Intervention for Females


    Background: Sedentary behavior (SB) is a significant risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and early mortality, particularly among women, and the health consequences associated with SB are independent of physical activity status. Interventions utilizing wearable technologies can improve SB, but their effectiveness is influenced by individual preferences, device engagement strategies, and technological features, which may affect user compliance. Gathering a priori insight from target populations on their preferences for program tools and strategies may assist researchers in identifying effective methods to improve the efficacy of SB interventions. Objective: The objective of this study was to (1) explore the likeability (likes and dislikes) and usability (engagement intentions and navigation) of a wearable device (Movband) and its accompanying website (dashboard), (2) examine social incentive preferences (teammates), and (3) assess the feasibility (participants’ experiences during an activity-monitoring period) of these tools for use in an intervention to reduce SB in girls and women. Methods: A total of 9 girls (mean age: 8.9 years, standard deviation [SD] 1.1 years) and 11 college-aged women (mean age: 22.6 years, SD 3.2 years) participated in this study. Separate focus groups were held for girls and women, and all participants attended one before and the other following a 7-day activity-monitoring period. During the focus groups, participants were prompted with questions to address the study aims, and the nominal group technique was used to compile lists of group-specific preferences for the activity-monitoring system. The top three ranking likes and dislikes were reverse coded to determine likeability. Results: The top-ranking responses for the girls and women were the following: visual display of movements and ease of navigation (dashboard like), boring to look at and no calorie-tracking function (dashboard dislike), backlight and long battery life (Movband like), and color and not waterproof (tied for girls) and vertical time display (Movband dislike). Additionally, participants identified several aesthetic preferences and functional limitations. At the second focus group visit, the majority of the participants self-reported less SB during the previous week. Objective data from the activity-monitoring period revealed that the average steps per day for girls and women were 12,373.4 (SD 2617.6) and 8515.8 (SD 3076.7), respectively. Conclusions: These results suggest that the girls and women liked many features of the Movband and dashboard. However, several dislikes were mentioned, which may negatively influence compliance and the effectiveness of the activity-monitoring system and require improvements before using in an SB intervention.

  • Healthy Beyond Pregnancy website (montage). Source: The Authors /; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Healthy Beyond Pregnancy, a Web-Based Intervention to Improve Adherence to Postpartum Care: Randomized Controlled Feasibility Trial


    Background: During the postpartum visit, health care providers address issues with short- and long-term implications for maternal and child health. Women with Medicaid insurance are less likely to return for a postpartum visit compared with women with private insurance. Behavioral economics acknowledges that people do not make exclusively rational choices, rather immediate gratification, cognitive and psychological biases, and social norms influence decision making. Drawing on insights from decision science, behavioral economists have examined how these biases can be modulated through carefully designed interventions. We have developed a Web-based tool, Healthy Beyond Pregnancy, that incorporates empirically derived concepts of behavioral economics to improve adherence rates to the postpartum visit. Objectives: The primary objectives of this pilot study were to (1) refine and assess the usability of Healthy Beyond Pregnancy and (2) assess the feasibility of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the intervention. Methods: We used a multistep process and multidisciplinary team of maternal-fetal medicine physicians, a behavioral economist, and researchers with expertise in behavioral interventions to design Healthy Beyond Pregnancy. We assessed the usability of the program with the Post-Study System Usability Questionnaire (PSSUQ), a validated 7-point scale, and semistructured interviews with postpartum women. We then conducted a feasibility trial to determine the proportion of eligible women who were willing to participate in an RCT of Healthy Beyond Pregnancy and the proportion of women willing to complete the Web-based program. Exploratory outcomes of the pilot trial included attendance at the postpartum visit, uptake of long-acting reversible contraception, and uptake of any contraception. Results: The median PSSUQ score for Healthy Beyond Pregnancy was 6.5 (interquartile range: 6.1-7) demonstrating high usability. Semistructured interviews (n=10) provided in-depth comments about users’ experience and further improved the program. A total of 34 postpartum women with Medicaid insurance were approached for the pilot trial, and 30 (88%) were consented and randomized. All women randomized to Healthy Beyond Pregnancy completed the Web-based program, had text-enabled cell phones, and were willing to receive text messages from the study team. Women in the Healthy Beyond Pregnancy arm were more likely to return for a postpartum visit compared with women in the control arm with 85% of women in Healthy Beyond Pregnancy returning versus 53% in the control arm (odds ratio in the Healthy Beyond Pregnancy group: 5.3; 95% CI 0.9-32.0; P=.06). Conclusions: We have developed a highly usable and acceptable Web-based program designed to increase attendance at the postpartum visit. Our pilot trial demonstrates that women are willing and able to participate in a randomized trial of a Web-based program and text messaging system. Trial Registration: NCT03296774; (Archived by WebCite at

  • Source: Phil Jones, Senior Photographer, Augusta University; Copyright: Phil Jones; URL:; License: The permission was granted by the photographer.

    Defining Information Quality Into Health Websites: A Conceptual Framework of Health Website Information Quality for Educated Young Adults


    Background: Today’s health care environment encourages health care consumers to take an active role in managing their health. As digital natives, young educated adults do much of their health information management through the Internet and consider it a valid source of health advice. However, the quality of information on health websites is highly variable and dynamic. Little is known about the understandings and perceptions that young educated adults have garnered on the quality of information on health websites used for health care–related purposes. Objective: To fill this gap, the aim of this study was to develop a conceptual framework of health website information quality with quality dimensions (ie, criteria) and associated quality drivers (ie, attributes) specified in the context of young educated adults’ use of health websites for health care–related purposes. This aim was achieved by (1) identifying information quality dimensions of health websites from the perspective of young educated adults; (2) identifying the importance ratings of these quality dimensions; and (3) constructing a framework of health website information quality with quality dimensions and associated drivers specified in the context of young educated adults’ use of health websites for health care–related purposes. Methods: The study employed both qualitative and quantitative methods. Methods included semistructured group interviews and an individual quality assessment exercise grounded in visiting various websites and responding to Likert scale questions regarding the importance ratings of information quality dimensions and open-ended questions with specifying website quality drivers. Study participants included junior and senior undergraduate and graduate students in business, allied health, and public health majors. Qualitative, open-coding procedures were used to develop the conceptual framework reflecting the participants’ means of assessing information quality on health websites. Results: Five dimensions of information quality for health websites were identified: Completeness of information, Understandability of information, Relevance of information, Depth of information, and Accuracy of information. Completeness of information and Understandability of information were rated as the two most important quality dimensions by the study participants. Results indicated that these five information quality dimensions for health websites were supported by the following main driver themes: Content, Design, Links, Consumer resources, Search functionality, Supporting references, User focus, Content FAQ, Open access, Policy statements, and Site performance. Conclusions: This study contributes to the literature by developing a health website information quality conceptual framework with quality dimensions and associated drivers specified for a young educated adult population. The detailed quality drivers supporting the corresponding quality dimensions provide a rich picture of young educated adults’ perceptions on health website information quality. This framework can be used to guide the development of health websites, as well as the foundation for a means to evaluate health information from existing health websites with young educated adults as the target audience.

  • Data collection setup used to identify EHR workarounds. Source: Vincent Blijleven; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND).

    Workarounds Emerging From Electronic Health Record System Usage: Consequences for Patient Safety, Effectiveness of Care, and Efficiency of Care


    Background: Health care providers resort to informal temporary practices known as workarounds for handling exceptions to normal workflow unintendedly imposed by electronic health record systems (EHRs). Although workarounds may seem favorable at first sight, they are generally suboptimal and may jeopardize patient safety, effectiveness of care, and efficiency of care. Objective: Research into the scope and impact of EHR workarounds on patient care processes is scarce. This paper provides insight into the effects of EHR workarounds on organizational workflows and outcomes of care services by identifying EHR workarounds and determining their rationales, scope, and impact on health care providers’ workflows, patient safety, effectiveness of care, and efficiency of care. Knowing the rationale of a workaround provides valuable clues about the source of origin of each workaround and how each workaround could most effectively be resolved. Knowing the scope and impact a workaround has on EHR-related safety, effectiveness, and efficiency provides insight into how to address related concerns. Methods: Direct observations and follow-up semistructured interviews with 31 physicians, 13 nurses, and 3 clerks and qualitative bottom-up coding techniques was used to identify, analyze, and classify EHR workarounds. The research was conducted within 3 specialties and settings at a large university hospital. Rationales were associated with work system components (persons, technology and tools, tasks, organization, and physical environment) of the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) framework to reveal their source of origin as well as to determine the scope and the impact of each EHR workaround from a structure-process-outcome perspective. Results: A total of 15 rationales for EHR workarounds were identified of which 5 were associated with persons, 4 with technology and tools, 4 with the organization, and 2 with the tasks. Three of these 15 rationales for EHR workarounds have not been identified in prior research: data migration policy, enforced data entry, and task interference. Conclusions: EHR workaround rationales associated with different SEIPS work system components demand a different approach to be resolved. Persons-related workarounds may most effectively be resolved through personal training, organization-related workarounds through reviewing organizational policy and regulations, tasks-related workarounds through process redesign, and technology- and tools-related workarounds through EHR redesign efforts. Furthermore, insights gained from knowing a workaround’s degree of influence as well as impact on patient safety, effectiveness of care, and efficiency of care can inform design and redesign of EHRs to further align EHR design with work contexts, subsequently leading to better organization and (safe) provision of care. In doing so, a research team in collaboration with all stakeholders could use the SEIPS framework to reflect on the current and potential future configurations of the work system to prevent unfavorable workarounds from occurring and how a redesign of the EHR would impact interactions between the work system components.

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  • The human factor: Value of interactions of a Clinician-Educator

    Date Submitted: Jan 16, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Jan 17, 2018 - Jan 31, 2018

    The power and outreach of the media is enormous and has re-structured our society today. The author acknowledges the impact, appreciates the outreach. However, we question the relative lack of focus o...

    The power and outreach of the media is enormous and has re-structured our society today. The author acknowledges the impact, appreciates the outreach. However, we question the relative lack of focus on physical human interactions and express concern over future training efforts. We compare and attempt to highlight the components of two interaction scenarios- those of teacher-student, and those of physician-patient. The physician-educators need to generate a discussion regarding the value of each interaction. As a teacher, there is value in online classrooms, and a different value to face to face interactions. Similarly, a physician can have major outreach impact by online, tele-medicine and tele-education efforts, but in some instances, may need to have the human, physical interaction with the patient. The value to these interactions depends on the roles in which these interactions are experienced. Medical education training must incorporate an understanding of the unique value of different interactions.