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. 
 

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.
 
 
 

Recent Articles

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User Training and Skills

Electronic health record (EHR) use can impede or augment patient-physician communication. However, little research explores the use of an educational comic to improve patient-physician-EHR interactions.

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Design and Usability of Clinical Software and EHRs

Typical solutions for improving discharge planning often rely on one-way communication mechanisms, static data entry into the electronic health record (EHR), or in-person meetings. Lack of timely and effective communication can adversely affect patients and their care teams.

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

Los Angeles County is a hub for COVID-19 cases in the United States. Academic health centers rapidly deployed and leveraged telemedicine to permit uninterrupted care of patients. Telemedicine enjoys high patient satisfaction, yet little is known about the level of satisfaction during a crisis and to what extent patient- or visit-related factors and trust play when in-person visits are eliminated.

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General Articles on Human Factors

Rising criticism about the risks associated with the use of mobile health apps necessitates a critical perspective to assess the use of these apps. A cost-benefit approach involving several moderating factors can be used to detect technology effects and individual-level push and pull factors related to health attitudes, lifestyle, and health management behaviors.

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Design of Processes and Workflows

Clinical pathways (CPs) can improve patient outcomes but can be complex to implement. Technologies, such as clinical decision support (CDS) tools, can facilitate their use, but require end-user testing in clinical settings.

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Focus Groups and Qualitative Research with Users

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-limiting genetic disease that causes chronic lung infections. We developed an internet-based decision aid (DA) to help patients with CF make better informed decisions regarding treatments and advance care planning. We built the DA around two major treatment decisions: whether to have a lung transplant and whether to agree to invasive mechanical ventilation (intubation).

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

The extensive uptake of telehealth has considerably transformed health care delivery since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and has imposed tremendous challenges to its large-scale implementation and adaptation. Given the shift in paradigm from telehealth as an alternative mechanism of care delivery to telehealth as an integral part of the health system, it is imperative to take a systematic approach to identifying barriers to, opportunities for, and the overall impact of telehealth implementation amidst the current pandemic. In this work, we apply a human factors framework, the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety model, to guide our holistic analysis and discussion of telehealth implementation, encompassing the health care work system, care processes, and outcomes.

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Design and Usability of Websites for Special User Groups

As the public increasingly uses the internet to search for resources and information regarding health and medicine, it is important that health care organizations provide adequate web resources. Website usability refers to the ease of user experience on a website. In this study, we conducted usability analyses on digital health center websites.

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User-centred Design Case Studies

Smart technology use in rehabilitation is growing and can be used remotely to assist clients in self-monitoring their performance. With written home exercise programs being the commonly prescribed form of rehabilitation after discharge, mobile health technology coupled with task-oriented programs can enhance self-management of upper extremity training. In the current study, a rehabilitation system, namely mRehab, was designed that included a smartphone app and 3D-printed household items such as mug, bowl, key, and doorknob embedded with a smartphone. The app interface allowed the user to select rehabilitation activities and receive feedback on the number of activity repetitions completed, time to complete each activity, and quality of movement.

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User-centred Design Case Studies

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, neurodegenerative disease that causes a range of motor, sensory, and cognitive symptoms. Due to these symptoms, people with MS are at a high risk for falls, fall-related injuries, and reductions in quality of life. There is no cure for MS, and managing symptoms and disease progression is important to maintain a high quality of life. Mobile health (mHealth) apps are commonly used by people with MS to help manage their health. However, there are limited health apps for people with MS designed to evaluate fall risk. A fall risk app can increase access to fall risk assessments and improve self-management. When designing mHealth apps, a user-centered approach is critical for improving use and adoption.

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Design and Usability of Consumer Health Tech and Home Monitoring Devices

Psychological distress increases across adolescence and has been associated with several important health outcomes with consequences that can extend into adulthood. One type of technological innovation that may serve as a unique intervention for youth experiencing psychological distress is the conversational agent, otherwise known as a chatbot. Further research is needed on the factors that may make mental health chatbots destined for adolescents more appealing and increase the likelihood that adolescents will use them.

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Design and Usability of Consumer Health Tech and Home Monitoring Devices

The Smart Angel home medical device allows ambulatory surgery patients to monitor their own health by taking their blood pressure and oxygen levels and answering a health questionnaire from home. Currently, this device is a prototype in the design phase, and no usability evaluation has been performed. This preventive device must be usable by patients with different profiles; however, it is important to select patients carefully to ensure their safety when using the device. As such, it would be interesting to know how to select or exclude patients. However, the links between user characteristics and the usability of this home medical device remain unclear.

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Preprints Open for Peer-Review

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