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Journal Description

JMIR Human Factors (JHF) is a PubMed-indexed, peer-reviewed sister journal of JMIR, a leading open access eHealth journal (Impact Factor 2017: 4.671).
 
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 (jmir.editorial.office at gmail.com).

 
 
 
 

Recent Articles:

  • Source: Pexels; Copyright: Pixabay; URL: https://www.pexels.com/photo/ambulance-architecture-building-business-263402/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Easier and Faster Is Not Always Better: Grounded Theory of the Impact of Large-Scale System Transformation on the Clinical Work of Emergency Medicine Nurses...

    Abstract:

    Background: The effectiveness of Lean Thinking as a quality improvement method for health care has been contested due, in part, to our limited contextual understanding of how it affects the working conditions and clinical workflow of nurses and physicians. Although there are some initial indications, arising from prevalence surveys and interviews, that Lean may intensify work performed within medical environments, the evidence base still requires detailed descriptions of the changes that were actually introduced to individuals’ clinical workflow and how these changes impacted health care professionals. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore ways in which a Lean intervention may impact the clinical work of emergency medicine nurses and physicians. Methods: We used a realist grounded theory approach to explore the clinical work of nurses and physicians practicing in 2 emergency medicine departments from a single teaching hospital in Canada. The hospital has 1000 beds with 128,000 emergency department (ED) visits annually. In 2013, both sites began a large-scale, Lean-driven system transformation of their practice environments. In-person interviews were iteratively conducted with health care professionals from July to December 2017. Information from transcripts was coded into categories and compared with existing codes. With repeated review of transcripts and evolving coding, we organized categories into themes. Data collection continued to theoretical sufficiency. Results: A total of 15 emergency medicine nurses and 5 physicians were interviewed. Of these, 18 individuals had practiced for at least 10 years. Our grounded theory involved 3 themes: (1) organization of our clinical work, (2) pushed pace in the front cell, and (3) the toll this all takes on us. Although the intervention was supposed to make the EDs work easier, faster, and better, the participants in our study indicated that the changes made had the opposite impact. Nurses and physicians described ways in which the reconfigured EDs disrupted their established practice routines and resulted in the intensification of their work. Participants also identified indications of deskilling of nurses’ work and how the new push-forward model of patient care had detrimental impacts on their physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study to describe the impact of Lean health care on the working conditions and actual work of emergency medicine nurses and physicians. We theorize that rather than support health care professionals in their management of the complexities that characterize emergency medicine, the physical and process-based changes introduced by the Lean intervention acted to further complicate their working environment. We have illuminated some unintended consequences associated with accelerating patient flow on the clinical workflow and perceived well-being of health care professionals. We identify some areas for reconsideration by the departments and put forward ideas for future research.

  • Source: Unsplash; Copyright: rawpizel; URL: https://unsplash.com/photos/Sv1iuZl-5a8; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Bridging the Gap Between Academic Research and Pragmatic Needs in Usability: A Hybrid Approach to Usability Evaluation of Health Care Information Systems

    Abstract:

    Background: Technology is increasingly embedded into the full spectrum of health care. This movement has benefited from the application of software development practices such as usability testing and agile development processes. These practices are frequently applied in both commercial or operational and academic settings. However, the relative importance placed on rapid iteration, validity, reproducibility, generalizability, and efficiency differs between the 2 settings and the needs and objectives of academic versus pragmatic usability evaluations. Objective: This paper explores how usability evaluation typically varies on key dimensions in pragmatic versus academic settings that impact the rapidity, validity, and reproducibility of findings and proposes a hybrid approach aimed at satisfying both pragmatic and academic objectives. Methods: We outline the characteristics of pragmatic versus academically oriented usability testing in health care, describe the tensions and gaps resulting from differing contexts and goals, and present a model of this hybrid process along with 2 case studies of digital development projects in which we demonstrate this integrated approach to usability evaluation. Results: The case studies presented illustrate design choices characteristic of our hybrid approach to usability evaluation. Conclusions: Designed to leverage the strengths of both pragmatically and academically focused usability studies, a hybrid approach allows new development projects to efficiently iterate and optimize from usability data as well as preserves the ability of these projects to produce deeper insights via thorough qualitative analysis to inform further tool development and usability research by way of academically focused dissemination.

  • ReX device. Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://humanfactors.jmir.org/2018/4/e10128/; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Use of a Digital Medication Management System for Effective Assessment and Enhancement of Patient Adherence to Therapy (ReX): Feasibility Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Medication nonadherence is a major problem in health care, imposing poor clinical outcomes and a heavy financial burden on all stakeholders. Current methods of medication adherence assessment are severely limited: they are applied only periodically, do not relate to actual pill intake, and suffer from patient bias due to errors, misunderstanding, or intentional nonadherence. ReX is an innovative medication management system designed to address poor patient adherence and enhance patient engagement with their therapy. ReX controls and tracks pills from the point of packaging right through to the patient’s mouth. ReX generates robust, real-time adherence data. The system enables patients to report outcomes, complete surveys, and receive messages and instructions. ReX includes a reusable drug dispensing unit, disposable cassette containing pills, and a cloud-based data portal. Objective: We aimed to evaluate ReX feasibility by human factor studies including evaluation of ReX safety; ReX acceptance and usability; and ReX efficacy of providing pills according to a preprogrammed dose regimen, managing reminders and adherence data, and enhancing the adherence rate compared with the standard of care. Methods: The ReX system was evaluated in 2 human factor, nonclinical feasibility studies. Human subjects used ReX for the administration of pill-shaped Tic Tac sweets. The initial study evaluated ReX use and pill intake administration; second was a self-controlled, 4-day home-use study. All subjects took pills at home, according to a preprogrammed dose regimen, for 4 days each via the device (ReX test) or from standard packaging (control test). The adherence rate (percent of pills taken) was measured by the study subject’s report, remaining pills count, and ReX records (in the ReX test). ReX safety and usability were evaluated by a questionnaire filled out by the subject. Results: The initial feasibility study evaluated usability and acceptance of the ReX novel approach to pill dispensing. All subjects successfully managed 2 pill intakes. The ReX device was rated as easy to use by 81% (48/59) of subjects. The 4-day home-use study evaluated the safety, efficacy, and usability of the ReX system. No adverse event occurred; no pill overdose or pill malformation was reported. The overall adherence rate in the ReX test was 97.6% compared with 76.3% in the control test (P<.001). Real-time, personalized reminders provided in the event of a delay in pill intake contributed to 18.0% of doses taken during the ReX test. The ReX system was found easy to use by 87% (35/40) of subjects; 90% (36/40) felt comfortable using it for their medication. Conclusions: ReX’s novel “tracking to the mouth” technology was found usable and accepted by subjects. The assessment of adherence rates was reliable; adherence of subjects to the dose regimen was significantly enhanced when using ReX compared with the standard of care.

  • eHealth as support for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease–related self-management strategies. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Sara Lundell; URL: http://humanfactors.jmir.org/2018/4/e10801/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Usefulness and Relevance of an eHealth Tool in Supporting the Self-Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Explorative Qualitative Study of a...

    Abstract:

    Background: New strategies are urgently needed to support self-management for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in primary care. The use of electronic health (eHealth) solutions is promising. However, there is a lack of knowledge about how such eHealth tools should be designed in order to be perceived as relevant and useful and meet the needs and expectations of the health professionals as well as people with COPD and their relatives. Objective: The objective of this study was to explore the aspects of an eHealth tool design and content that make it relevant and useful for supporting COPD-related self-management strategies from the perspective of health care professionals, people with COPD and their relatives, and external researchers. Methods: Data were collected during the development of an eHealth tool. A cocreation process was carried out with participants from two primary care units in northern Sweden and external researchers. Individual interviews were performed with health care professionals (n=13) as well as people with COPD (n=6) and their relatives (n=2), and focus group discussions (n=9) were held with all groups of participants. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results: The overarching theme, reinforcing existing support structures, reflects participant views that the eHealth tool needs to be directly applicable and create a sense of commitment in users. Moreover, participants felt that the tool needs to fit with existing routines and contexts and preferably should not challenge existing hierarchies between health care professionals and people with COPD. Important content for health care professionals and people with COPD included knowledge about self-management strategies. Videos were regarded as the most effective method for communicating such knowledge. Conclusions: The cocreation in the development process enables participant perspectives and priorities to be built into the eHealth tool. This is assumed to contribute to a tool that is useful and relevant and, therefore, adopted into clinical practice and everyday life. Findings from this study can inform the development of eHealth tools for people with COPD in other contexts, as well as the development of eHealth tools for self-management support of other chronic diseases.

  • ICU monitoring. Source: Dreamstime; Copyright: Andrei Malov; URL: https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-monitoring-icu-image2549142; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Alarm-Related Workload in Default and Modified Alarm Settings and the Relationship Between Alarm Workload, Alarm Response Rate, and Care Provider Experience:...

    Abstract:

    Background: Delayed or no response to impending patient safety–related calls, poor care provider experience, low job satisfaction, and adverse events are all unwanted outcomes of alarm fatigue. Nurses often cite increases in alarm-related workload as a reason for alarm fatigue, which is a major contributor to the aforementioned unwanted outcomes. Increased workload affects both the care provider and the patient. No studies to date have evaluated the workload while caring for patients and managing alarms simultaneously and related it to the primary measures of alarm fatigue—alarm response rate and care provider experience. Many studies have assessed the effect of modifying the default alarm setting; however, studies on the perceived workload under different alarm settings are limited. Objective: This study aimed to assess nurses’ or assistants’ perceived workload index of providing care under different clinical alarm settings and establish the relationship between perceived workload, alarm response rate, and care provider experience. Methods: In a clinical simulator, 30 participants responded to alarms that occurred on a physiological monitor under 2 conditions (default and modified) for a given clinical condition. Participants completed a National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index questionnaire and rated the demand experienced on a 20-point visual analog scale with low and high ratings. A correlational analysis was performed to assess the relationships between the perceived workload score, alarm response rate, and care provider experience. Results: Participants experienced lower workloads when the clinical alarm threshold limits were modified according to patients’ clinical conditions. The workload index was higher for the default alarm setting (57.60 [SD 2.59]) than for the modified alarm setting (52.39 [SD 2.29]), with a statistically significant difference of 5.21 (95% CI 3.38-7.04), t28=5.838, P<.05. Significant correlations were found between the workload index and alarm response rate. There was a strong negative correlation between alarm response rate and perceived workload, ρ28=−.54, P<.001 with workload explaining 29% of the variation in alarm response rate. There was a moderate negative correlation between the experience reported during patient care and the perceived workload, ρ28=−.49, P<.05. Conclusions: The perceived workload index was comparatively lower with alarm settings modified for individual patient care than in an unmodified default clinical alarm setting. These findings demonstrate that the modification of clinical alarm limits positively affects the number of alarms accurately addressed, care providers’ experience, and overall satisfaction. The findings support the removal of nonessential alarms based on patient conditions, which can help care providers address the remaining alarms accurately and provide better patient care.

  • User with portal visualization. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Katherine Kim; URL: http://humanfactors.jmir.org/2018/4/e11826/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Data Visualizations to Support Health Practitioners’ Provision of Personalized Care for Patients With Cancer and Multiple Chronic Conditions: User-Centered...

    Abstract:

    Background: There exists a challenge of understanding and integrating various types of data collected to support the health of individuals with multiple chronic conditions engaging in cancer care. Data visualization has the potential to address this challenge and support personalized cancer care. Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the health care practitioners’ perceptions of and feedback regarding visualizations developed to support the care of individuals with multiple chronic conditions engaging in cancer care. Methods: Medical doctors (n=4) and registered nurses (n=4) providing cancer care at an academic medical center in the western United States provided feedback on visualization mock-ups. Mock-up designs were guided by current health informatics and visualization literature and the Munzner Nested Model for Visualization Design. User-centered design methods, a mock patient persona, and a scenario were used to elicit insights from participants. Directed content analysis was used to identify themes from session transcripts. Means and SDs were calculated for health care practitioners’ rankings of overview visualizations. Results: Themes identified were data elements, supportive elements, confusing elements, interpretation, and use of visualization. Overall, participants found the visualizations useful and with the potential to provide personalized care. Use of color, reference lines, and familiar visual presentations (calendars, line graphs) were noted as helpful in interpreting data. Conclusions: Visualizations guided by a framework and literature can support health care practitioners’ understanding of data for individuals with multiple chronic conditions engaged in cancer care. This understanding has the potential to support the provision of personalized care.

  • Applying Persuasive Design Techniques to Influence Data-Entry Behaviors in Primary Care: Repeated Measures Evaluation Using Statistical Process Control

    Abstract:

    Background: Persuasive design is an approach that seeks to change the behaviors of users. In primary care, clinician behaviors and attitudes are important precursors to structured data entry, and there is an impact on overall data quality. We hypothesized that persuasive design changes data-entry behaviors in clinicians and thus improves data quality. Objective: The objective of this study was to use persuasive design principles to change clinician data-entry behaviors in a primary care environment and to increase data quality of data held in a family health team’s reporting system. Methods: We used the persuasive systems design framework to describe the persuasion context. Afterward, we designed and implemented new features into a summary screen that leveraged several persuasive design principles. We tested the influence of the new features by measuring its impact on 3 data quality measures (same-day entry, record completeness, and data validity). We also measured the impacts of the new features with a paired pre-post t test and generated XmR charts to contextualize the results. Survey responses were also collected from users. Results: A total of 53 users used the updated system that incorporated the new features over the course of 8 weeks. Based on a pre-post analysis, the new summary screen successfully encouraged users to enter more of their data on the same day as their encounter. On average, the percentage of same-day entries rose by 10.3% for each user (P<.001). During the first month of the postimplementation period, users compensated by sacrificing aspects of data completeness before returning to normal in the second month. Improvements to record validity were marginal over the study period (P=.05). Statistical process control techniques allowed us to study the XmR charts to contextualize our results and understand trends throughout the study period. Conclusions: By conducting a detailed systems analysis and introducing new persuasive design elements into a data-entry system, we demonstrated that it was possible to change data-entry behavior and influence data quality in a reporting system. The results show that using persuasive design concepts may be effective in influencing data-entry behaviors in clinicians. There may be opportunities to continue improving this approach, and further work is required to perfect and test additional designs. Persuasive design is a viable approach to encourage clinician user change and could support better data capture in the field of medical informatics.

  • Source: Dreamstime; Copyright: Wavebreakmedia Ltd; URL: https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-mid-section-pregnant-woman-touching-belly-holding-mobile-phone-image60548550; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Developing Culturally Sensitive mHealth Apps for Caribbean Immigrant Women to Use During Pregnancy: Focus Group Study

    Authors List:

    Abstract:

    Background: A valuable addition to the mobile health (mHealth) space is an exploration of the context of minorities in developed countries. The transition period postmigration, culture, and socioeconomic uniqueness of migratory groups can shed light on the problems with existing prenatal mHealth apps. Objective: The objectives of this study were to (1) use the theoretical concept of pregnancy ecology to understand the emotional, physical, information, and social challenges affecting low-income Caribbean immigrant women’s prenatal well-being practices and (2) develop a deep understanding of challenges worthy of consideration in mHealth design for these women. Methods: This qualitative interpretive approach using analytical induction presents the findings of 3 focus group sessions with 12 Caribbean immigrant women living in South Florida in the United States. The study took place from April to September 2015. Results: The participants revealed problematic tiers and support needs within the pregnancy ecology including emotional stressors caused by family separation, physical challenges, information gaps, and longing for social support. Conclusions: mHealth interventions for low-income Caribbean immigrant women must be designed beyond the conventional way of focusing on the events surrounding the unborn child. It can be tailored to the needs of the expecting mother. Pregnancy information should be customized on the basis of the variability of lifestyle, cultural practices, socioeconomic status, and social ties while still being able to deliver appropriate guidelines and clear cultural misconceptions.

  • Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://humanfactors.jmir.org/2018/4/e27/; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Collecting Health and Exposure Data in Australian Olympic Combat Sports: Feasibility Study Utilizing an Electronic System

    Abstract:

    Background: Electronic methods are increasingly being used to manage health-related data among sporting populations. Collection of such data permits the analysis of injury and illness trends, improves early detection of injuries and illnesses, collectively referred to as health problems, and provides evidence to inform prevention strategies. The Athlete Management System (AMS) has been employed across a range of sports to monitor health. Australian combat athletes train across the country without dedicated national medical or sports science teams to monitor and advocate for their health. Employing a Web-based system, such as the AMS, may provide an avenue to increase the visibility of health problems experienced by combat athletes and deliver key information to stakeholders detailing where prevention programs may be targeted. Objective: The objectives of this paper are to (1) report on the feasibility of utilizing the AMS to collect longitudinal injury and illness data of combat sports athletes and (2) describe the type, location, severity, and recurrence of injuries and illnesses that the cohort of athletes experience across a 12-week period. Methods: We invited 26 elite and developing athletes from 4 Olympic combat sports (boxing, judo, taekwondo, and wrestling) to participate in this study. Engagement with the AMS was measured, and collected health problems (injuries or illnesses) were coded using the Orchard Sports Injury Classification System (version 10.1) and International Classification of Primary Care (version 2). Results: Despite >160 contacts, athlete engagement with online tools was poor, with only 13% compliance across the 12-week period. No taekwondo or wrestling athletes were compliant. Despite low overall engagement, a large number of injuries or illness were recorded across 11 athletes who entered data—22 unique injuries, 8 unique illnesses, 30 recurrent injuries, and 2 recurrent illnesses. The most frequent injuries were to the knee in boxing (n=41) and thigh in judo (n=9). In this cohort, judo players experienced more severe, but less frequent, injuries than boxers, yet judo players sustained more illnesses than boxers. In 97.0% (126/130) of cases, athletes in this cohort continued to train irrespective of their health problems. Conclusions: Among athletes who reported injuries, many reported multiple conditions, indicating a need for health monitoring in Australian combat sports. A number of factors may have influenced engagement with the AMS, including access to the internet, the design of the system, coach views on the system, previous experiences with the system, and the existing culture within Australian combat sports. To increase engagement, there may be a requirement for sports staff to provide relevant feedback on data entered into the system. Until the barriers are addressed, it is not feasible to implement the system in its current form across a larger cohort of combat athletes.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: Pressfoto; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/doctor-looking-for-information-in-the-database_863249.htm#term=doctor%20typing&page=1&position=2; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Clinically Excellent Use of the Electronic Health Record: Review

    Abstract:

    Background: The transition to the electronic health record (EHR) has brought forth a rapid cultural shift in the world of medicine, presenting both new challenges as well as opportunities for improving health care. As clinicians work to adapt to the changes imposed by the EHR, identification of best practices around the clinically excellent use of the EHR is needed. Objective: Using the domains of clinical excellence previously defined by the Johns Hopkins Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence, this review aims to identify best practices around the clinically excellent use of the EHR. Methods: The authors searched the PubMed database, using keywords related to clinical excellence domains and the EHR, to capture the English-language, peer-reviewed literature published between January 1, 2000, and August 2, 2016. One author independently reviewed each article and extracted relevant data. Results: The search identified 606 titles, with the majority (393/606, 64.9%) in the domain of communication and interpersonal skills. Twenty-eight of the 606 (4.6%) titles were excluded from full-text review, primarily due to lack of availability of the full-text article. The remaining 578 full-text articles reviewed were related to clinical excellence generally (3/578, 0.5%) or the specific domains of communication and interpersonal skills (380/578, 65.7%), diagnostic acumen (31/578, 5.4%), skillful negotiation of the health care system (4/578, 0.7%), scholarly approach to clinical practice (41/578, 7.1%), professionalism and humanism (2/578, 0.4%), knowledge (97/578, 16.8%), and passion for clinical medicine (20/578, 3.5%). Conclusions: Results suggest that as familiarity and expertise are developed, clinicians are leveraging the EHR to provide clinically excellent care. Best practices identified included deliberate physical configuration of the clinical space to involve sharing the screen with patients and limiting EHR use during difficult and emotional topics. Promising horizons for the EHR include the ability to augment participation in pragmatic trials, identify adverse drug effects, correlate genomic data to clinical outcomes, and follow data-driven guidelines. Clinician and patient satisfaction with the EHR has generally improved with time, and hopefully continued clinician, and patient input will lead to a system that satisfies all.

  • Group coding. Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://humanfactors.jmir.org/2018/3/e24; License: Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial (CC-BY-NC).

    Physician and Pharmacist Medication Decision-Making in the Time of Electronic Health Records: Mixed-Methods Study 

    Abstract:

    Background: Primary care needs to be patient-centered, integrated, and interprofessional to help patients with complex needs manage the burden of medication-related problems. Considering the growing problem of polypharmacy, increasing attention has been paid to how and when medication-related decisions should be coordinated across multidisciplinary care teams. Improved knowledge on how integrated electronic health records (EHRs) can support interprofessional shared decision-making for medication therapy management is necessary to continue improving patient care. Objective: The objective of our study was to examine how physicians and pharmacists understand and communicate patient-focused medication information with each other and how this knowledge can influence the design of EHRs. Methods: This study is part of a broader cross-Canada study between patients and health care providers around how medication-related decisions are made and communicated. We visited community pharmacies, team-based primary care clinics, and independent-practice family physician clinics throughout Ontario, Nova Scotia, Alberta, and Quebec. Research assistants conducted semistructured interviews with physicians and pharmacists. A modified version of the Multidisciplinary Framework Method was used to analyze the data. Results: We collected data from 19 pharmacies and 9 medical clinics and identified 6 main themes from 34 health care professionals. First, Interprofessional Shared Decision-Making was not occurring and clinicians made decisions based on their understanding of the patient. Physicians and pharmacists reported indirect Communication, incomplete Information specifically missing insight into indication and adherence, and misaligned Processes of Care that were further compounded by EHRs that are not designed to facilitate collaboration. Scope of Practice examined professional and workplace boundaries for pharmacists and physicians that were internally and externally imposed. Physicians decided on the degree of the Physician-Pharmacist Relationship, often predicated by colocation. Conclusions: We observed limited communication and collaboration between primary care providers and pharmacists when managing medications. Pharmacists were missing key information around reason for use, and physicians required accurate information around adherence. EHRs are a potential tool to help clinicians communicate information to resolve this issue. EHRs need to be designed to facilitate interprofessional medication management so that pharmacists and physicians can move beyond task-based work toward a collaborative approach.

  • Human-Centered Design Workshop. Source: Flickr.com; Copyright: Nearsoft Inc; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nearsoft/14412062291/in/photolist-22b95gi-cJa5Z9-cZRgcf-qhv7S4-kY3Hr-nXxA1B-7zCVQw-a7LAUb-UQEkeJ-kY3ib-ekBmet-8rucyj-cJa78d-55HY3r-dibasY-9gZfX-q22SWK-nAM2fD-6uGoJg-55Nc3Q-62iuRr-zX1YBu-z3hG93-Znf4dV-Znf8Ax-8Ysxmx-cJa6m3-Cg2L; License: Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA).

    A Patient-Facing Diabetes Dashboard Embedded in a Patient Web Portal: Design Sprint and Usability Testing

    Abstract:

    Background: Health apps and Web-based interventions designed for patients with diabetes offer novel and scalable approaches to engage patients and improve outcomes. However, careful attention to the design and usability of these apps and Web-based interventions is essential to reduce the barriers to engagement and maximize use. Objective: The aim of this study was to apply design sprint methodology paired with mixed-methods, task-based usability testing to design and evaluate an innovative, patient-facing diabetes dashboard embedded in an existing patient portal and integrated into an electronic health record. Methods: We applied a 5-day design sprint methodology developed by Google Ventures (Alphabet Inc, Mountain View, CA) to create our initial dashboard prototype. We identified recommended strategies from the literature for using patient-facing technologies to enhance patient activation and designed a dashboard functionality to match each strategy. We then conducted a mixed-methods, task-based usability assessment of dashboard prototypes with individual patients. Measures included validated metrics of task performance on 5 common and standardized tasks, semistructured interviews, and a validated usability satisfaction questionnaire. After each round of usability testing, we revised the dashboard prototype in response to usability findings before the next round of testing until the majority of participants successfully completed tasks, expressed high satisfaction, and identified no new usability concerns (ie, stop criterion was met). Results: The sample (N=14) comprised 5 patients in round 1, 3 patients in round 2, and 6 patients in round 3, at which point we reached our stop criterion. The participants’ mean age was 63 years (range 45-78 years), 57% (8/14) were female, and 50% (7/14) were white. Our design sprint yielded an initial patient-facing diabetes dashboard prototype that displayed and summarized 5 measures of patients’ diabetes health status (eg, hemoglobin A1c). The dashboard used graphics to visualize and summarize health data and reinforce understanding, incorporated motivational strategies (eg, social comparisons and gamification), and provided educational resources and secure-messaging capability. More than 80% of participants were able to successfully complete all 5 tasks using the final prototype. Interviews revealed usability concerns with design, the efficiency of use, and content and terminology, which led to improvements. Overall satisfaction (0=worst and 7=best) improved from the initial to the final prototype (mean 5.8, SD 0.4 vs mean 6.7, SD 0.5). Conclusions: Our results demonstrate the utility of the design sprint methodology paired with mixed-methods, task-based usability testing to efficiently and effectively design a patient-facing, Web-based diabetes dashboard that is satisfying for patients to use.

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  • Patients’ experiences using a consumer mobile health application for heart failure self-management

    Date Submitted: Dec 3, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Dec 7, 2018 - Dec 21, 2018

    Background: To support heart failure (HF) self-management, a team of hospital clinicians, patients and family caregivers have co-designed the consumer mobile health application (app), Care4myHeart. Ob...

    Background: To support heart failure (HF) self-management, a team of hospital clinicians, patients and family caregivers have co-designed the consumer mobile health application (app), Care4myHeart. Objective: This research aimed to uncover patient experiences using the app for HF self-management. Methods: Patients with HF used the app for 14 days on their own smart device in the home setting, followed by a mixed-methods evaluation. Eight patients were recruited and six completed the Mobile Application Rating Scale and attended an interview. Results: The overall app quality score was ‘acceptable’ at 3.53 out of 5, scoring highest in the aesthetics (3.83) and information (3.78) sub-scale. The lowest mean score was in the app-specific subscale representing the perceived impact on health behaviour change (2.53). The weight and fluid restriction sections were most frequently used with graphical representation of patient data an opportunity for improved self-awareness and ongoing learning. There was potential benefit to HF self-management as i) a communication tool for doctors to assist with care planning as all medical information is in one place, and ii) for daily management of illness with the benefits of accurately recording and reviewing personal health data. Participants however, were unsure this would fit into the way they conduct self-management as using the app for HF would require a fundamental change in daily routines. Technical problems with functionality and data entry issues were reported alongside relatively minor improvement suggestions. Conclusions: The findings from this usability study suggest that a significant barrier to adoption is the lack of integration of technology into every-day life in the context of already established disease self-management routines. Future studies should explore the barriers to adoption and sustainability of consumer mobile health interventions for chronic conditions, particularly whether introducing such apps is more beneficial at the commencement of a self-management regimen.

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