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. JMIR Human Factors is indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, DOAJ, Scopus, PsychINFO, and the Emerging Sources Citation Index (Clarivate).

Recent Articles

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Design and Evaluation of Patient Education Materials

Cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus are two of the most prevalent chronic conditions worldwide. An unhealthy lifestyle greatly contributes to someone’s risk of developing these conditions. Mobile health is an emerging technology that can help deliver health promotion interventions to the population, for example, in the form of health apps.

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Design and Usability of Consumer Health Tech and Home Monitoring Devices

Marginalized groups are more likely to experience problems with technology-related access, motivation, and skills. This is known as the “digital divide.” Technology-related exclusion is a potential barrier to the equitable implementation of digital health. SlowMo therapy was developed with an inclusive, human-centered design to optimize accessibility and bridge the “digital divide.” SlowMo is an effective, blended digital psychological therapy for paranoia in psychosis.

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Design and Usability of Consumer Health Tech and Home Monitoring Devices

Self-management can increase self-efficacy and quality of life and improve disease outcomes. Effective self-management may also help reduce the pressure on health care systems. However, patients need support in dealing with their disease and in developing skills to manage the consequences and changes associated with their condition. Web-based self-management support programs have helped patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but program use has been low.

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Focus Groups and Qualitative Research with Users

Providing care in home environments is complex, and often the pressure is on caregivers to document information and ensure care continuity. Digital information management and communication technologies may support care coordination among caregivers. However, they have yet to be adopted in this context, partly because of issues with supporting long-term disease progression and caregiver anxiety. Voice assistant (VA) technology is a promising method for interfacing with digital health information that may aid in multiple aspects of being a caregiver, thereby influencing adoption. Understanding the expectations for VAs to support caregivers is fundamental to inform the practical development of this technology.

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Focus Groups and Qualitative Research with Users

COVIDCare@Home (CC@H) is a multifaceted, interprofessional team-based remote monitoring program led by family medicine for patients diagnosed with COVID-19, based at Women’s College Hospital (WCH), an ambulatory academic center in Toronto, Canada. CC@H offers virtual visits (phone and video) to address the clinical needs and broader social determinants of the health of patients during the acute phase of COVID-19 infection, including finding a primary care provider (PCP) and support for food insecurity.

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Reviews on Human Factors

Physical activity and a diet that follows general recommendations can help to prevent noncommunicable diseases. However, most adults do not meet current recommended guidelines, and support for behavior change needs to be strengthened. There is growing evidence that shows the benefits of eHealth and mobile health (mHealth) services in promoting healthy habits; however, their long-term effectiveness is uncertain because of nonadherence.

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Theories and Frameworks in Human Factors

The past decade has seen increasing opportunities and efforts to integrate quality improvement into health care. Practice facilitation is a proven strategy to support redesign and improvement in primary care practices that focuses on building organizational capacity for continuous improvement. Practice leadership, staff, and practice facilitators all play important roles in supporting quality improvement in primary care. However, little is known about their perspectives on the context, enablers, barriers, and strategies that impact quality improvement initiatives.

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Design and Usability of Clinical Software and EHRs

Patient portals are increasingly being implemented worldwide to ensure that patients have timely access to their health data, including patients’ access to their electronic health records. In Sweden, the e-service Journalen is a national patient-accessible electronic health record (PAEHR), accessible on the web through the national patient portal. User characteristics and perceived benefits of using a PAEHR will influence behavioral intentions to use and adoption; however, poor usability, which increases effort expectancy, may have a negative impact. Therefore, it is of interest to further explore how users of the PAEHR Journalen perceive its usability and usefulness.

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Viewpoints and Opinions on Human Factors

The health care management and the medical practitioner literature lack a descriptive conceptual framework for understanding the dynamic and complex interactions between clinicians and artificial intelligence (AI) systems. As most of the existing literature has been investigating AI’s performance and effectiveness from a statistical (analytical) standpoint, there is a lack of studies ensuring AI’s ecological validity. In this study, we derived a framework that focuses explicitly on the interaction between AI and clinicians. The proposed framework builds upon well-established human factors models such as the technology acceptance model and expectancy theory. The framework can be used to perform quantitative and qualitative analyses (mixed methods) to capture how clinician-AI interactions may vary based on human factors such as expectancy, workload, trust, cognitive variables related to absorptive capacity and bounded rationality, and concerns for patient safety. If leveraged, the proposed framework can help to identify factors influencing clinicians’ intention to use AI and, consequently, improve AI acceptance and address the lack of AI accountability while safeguarding the patients, clinicians, and AI technology. Overall, this paper discusses the concepts, propositions, and assumptions of the multidisciplinary decision-making literature, constituting a sociocognitive approach that extends the theories of distributed cognition and, thus, will account for the ecological validity of AI.

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Theme Issue: Human Factors of the COVID-19 Outbreak

Self-care behaviors are essential for people living with chronic conditions; however, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed additional complications on their daily routines. Few studies have analyzed how self-care behaviors have changed during COVID-19 and the role of digital technology, especially among people with chronic conditions.

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Focus Groups and Qualitative Research with Users

Trauma care faces challenges to innovating their services, such as with mobile health (mHealth) app, to improve the quality of care and patients’ health experience. Systematic needs inquiries and collaborations with professional and patient end users are highly recommended to develop and prepare future implementations of such innovations.

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Design and Usability of Clinical Software and EHRs

Internet-delivered psychological treatment (IDPT) systems are software applications that offer psychological treatments via the internet. Such IDPT systems have become one of the most commonly practiced and widely researched forms of psychotherapy. Evidence shows that psychological treatments delivered by IDPT systems can be an effective way of treating mental health morbidities. However, current IDPT systems have high dropout rates and low user adherence. The primary reason is that the current IDPT systems are not flexible, adaptable, and personalized as they follow a fixed tunnel-based treatment architecture. A fixed tunnel-based architecture follows predefined, sequential treatment content for every patient, irrespective of their context, preferences, and needs. Moreover, current IDPT systems have poor interoperability, making it difficult to reuse and share treatment materials. There is a lack of development and documentation standards, conceptual frameworks, and established (clinical) guidelines for such IDPT systems. As a result, several ad hoc forms of IDPT models exist. Consequently, developers and researchers have tended to reinvent new versions of IDPT systems, making them more complex and less interoperable.

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