JMIR Human Factors

(Re-)designing health care and making health care interventions and technologies usable, safe, and effective

Editor-in-Chief:

Andre Kushniruk BA, MSc, PhD, FACMI, School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria, Canada


JMIR Human Factors (JHF, ISSN 2292-9495; Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Andre Kushniruk) is a multidisciplinary journal with contributions from design experts, 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. This includes 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.

JHF aspires to lead health care towards a culture of "usability by design", as well as to a culture of testing, error-prevention 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. 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.

All articles are professionally copyedited and typeset, ready for indexing in PubMed/PubMed Central.

Recent Articles

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Design and Usability of Clinical Software and EHRs

Transparency is increasingly called for in health care, especially, when it comes to patients’ access to their electronic health records. In Sweden, the e-service Journalen is a national patient accessible electronic health record (PAEHR), accessible online via the national patient portal. User characteristics and perceived benefits of using a PAEHR influence behavioral intention for use and adoption, but poor usability that increases the effort expectancy can have a negative impact. It is, therefore, of interest to explore how users of the PAEHR Journalen perceive its usability and usefulness.

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General Articles on Human Factors

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the capacity of the regular health care system, which is reflected in limited access to nonurgent care for patients who are chronically ill in the Dutch health care system. Nevertheless, many of them still depend on health care assistance to manage their illnesses. Patient portals are used to provide continued health care (remotely) and offer self-management tools during COVID-19 and potentially after. However, little is known about the factors influencing portal use and users’ satisfaction among patients who are chronically ill during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Focus Groups and Qualitative Research with Users

As part of political and professional development with increased focus on including service users within mental health services, these services are being transformed. Specifically, they are shifting from institutional to noninstitutional care provision with increased integration of the use of electronic health and digitalization. In the period from March to May 2020, COVID-19 restrictions forced rapid changes in the organization and provision of mental health services through the increased use of digital solutions in therapy.

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General Articles on Human Factors

Medical practices, which are businesses through which one or more physicians treat patients, have likely not yet taken full advantage of the reach of social media. This study analyzed data collected using an anonymous survey to assess the potential utilization of large, established social media platforms in health care. The survey collected data from a diverse population of health care professional students, faculty, and physicians affiliated with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). This study provides significant, actionable data to more efficiently implement a social media strategy focused on age to help developing private practices and outpatient clinics from the perspective of those with experience in the field of medicine.

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Design and Usability of Consumer Health Tech and Home Monitoring Devices

The management of multimorbidity is complex and patients have a high burden of disease. When symptoms of dementia also appear, it becomes even more difficult for patients to cope with their everyday lives and manage their diseases. Home-based telemonitoring may support older patients with multimorbidity and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in their regular monitoring and self-management. However, to date, there has been no investigation into whether patients with MCI are able to operate a telemonitoring app independently to manage their own diseases. This question has become even more important during the current COVID-19 pandemic to maintain high-quality medical care for this patient group.

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General Articles on Human Factors

Since the COVID-19 pandemic onset, telemedicine has increased exponentially across numerous outpatient departments and specialties. Qualitative studies examining clinician telemedicine perspectives during the pandemic identified challenges with physical examination, workflow concerns, burnout, and reduced personal connection with patients. However, these studies only included a relatively small number of physicians or were limited to a single specialty, and few assessed perspectives on integrating trainees into workflows, an important area to address to support the clinical learning environment. As telemedicine use continues, it is necessary to understand a range of clinician perspectives.

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Usability Evaluation Case Studies

Cardiac rehabilitation programs, consisting of exercise training and disease management interventions, reduce morbidity and mortality after acute myocardial infarction.

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Design and Usability of Clinical Software and EHRs

Use of electronic health records (EHRs) has increased dramatically over the past decade. Their widespread adoption has been plagued with numerous complaints about usability, with subsequent impacts on patient safety and provider well-being. Data in other fields suggest biological sex impacts basic patterns of navigation in electronic media.

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Reviews on Human Factors

Despite advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) to develop prediction and classification models, little research has been devoted to real-world translations with a user-centered design approach. AI development studies in the health care context have often ignored two critical factors of ecological validity and human cognition, creating challenges at the interface with clinicians and the clinical environment.

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User-centred Design Case Studies

Patients on hemodialysis receive dialysis thrice weekly for about 4 hours per session. Intradialytic hypotension (IDH)—low blood pressure during hemodialysis—is a serious but common complication of hemodialysis. Although patients on dialysis already participate in their care, activating patients toward IDH prevention may reduce their risk of IDH. Interactive, technology-based interventions hold promise as a platform for patient activation. However, little is known about the usability challenges that patients undergoing hemodialysis may face when using tablet-based informatics interventions, especially while dialyzing.

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Theme Issue 2020/21: Human Factors of the COVID-19 Outbreak

As COVID-19 poses different levels of threat to people of different ages, health communication regarding prevention measures such as social distancing and isolation may be strengthened by understanding the unique experiences of various age groups.

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