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

Electronic health record (EHR) patient portals are designed to provide medical health records to patients. Using an EHR portal is expected to contribute to positive health outcomes and facilitate patient-provider communication.

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Design and Usability of Clinical Software and EHRs

Third-party cloud-based data analysis applications are proliferating in electronic health (eHealth) because of the expertise offered and their monetary advantage. However, privacy and security are critical concerns when handling sensitive medical data in the cloud. Technical advances based on “crypto magic” in privacy-preserving machine learning (ML) enable data analysis in encrypted form for maintaining confidentiality. Such privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) could be counterintuitive to relevant stakeholders in eHealth, which could in turn hinder adoption; thus, more attention is needed on human factors for establishing trust and transparency.

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

An increase in the number of people presenting to emergency departments (EDs) is contributing to ED overcrowding. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a significant reduction in the number of ED presentations in Australia, creating an opportunity to learn from patients’ experiences of alternative management options.

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Design and Usability of Consumer Health Tech and Home Monitoring Devices

Many patients do not meet the recommended levels of physical activity after completing a cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program. Wearable activity trackers and mobile phone apps are promising potential self-management tools for maintaining physical activity after CR completion.

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Usability Evaluation Case Studies

We describe the introduction, use, and evaluation of an automation and integration pharmacy development program in a private facility in Saudi Arabia. The project was specifically undertaken to increase throughput, reduce medication dispensing error rates, improve patient satisfaction, and free up pharmacists’ time to allow for increased face-to-face consultations with patients.

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Design and Usability of Websites for Special User Groups

Co-design (or the participation of users) has shown great potential in the eHealth domain, demonstrating positive results. Nevertheless, the co-design approach cannot guarantee the usability of the system designed, and usability assessment is a complex analysis to perform, as evaluation criteria will differ depending on the usability framework (or set of criteria) used. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) on usability (ISO 9241-210), Nielsen heuristic, and Garrett element of user experience inform different yet complementary aspects of usability.

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

Given the sudden shift to telemedicine during the early COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted a survey of practicing physicians’ experience with telehealth during the prepandemic and early pandemic periods. Our survey estimates that most patient visits in the United States during the early COVID-19 pandemic period were conducted via telehealth. Given this magnitude and the potential benefits and challenges of telehealth for the US health care system, in this paper, we obtain, summarize, and analyze telehealth views and experiences of US-based practicing-physicians.

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User Needs and Competencies

Diet and nutrition management is an integral component of Crohn disease (CD) management. This type of management is highly variable and individualized and, thus, requires personalized approaches. Consumer health information technology (CHIT) designed to support CD management has typically supported this task as everyday life work and, not necessarily, as illness work. Moreover, CHIT has rarely supported the ways in which diet and nutrition management requires coordination between multiple forms of patient work.

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User-centred Design Case Studies

e-Consultations between primary care physicians and specialists are a valuable means of improving access to specialty care. Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) face unique challenges in accessing limited adolescent medicine specialty care resources, which contributes to delayed or forgone care. e-Consultations between general pediatricians and adolescent medicine specialists may alleviate these barriers to care. However, the optimal application of this model in adolescent medicine requires careful attention to the nuances of AYA care.

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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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