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


Impact Factor 2023

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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Focus Groups and Qualitative Research with Users

Access to gender-affirming care services for transgender and gender-diverse youths is limited, in part because this care is currently provided primarily by specialists. Telehealth platforms that enable primary care providers (PCPs) to receive education from and consult specialists may help improve the access to such services. However, little is known about PCPs’ preferences regarding receiving this support.

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Theme Issue: Human Factors of the COVID-19 Outbreak

The COVID-19 pandemic raised novel challenges in communicating reliable, continually changing health information to a broad and sometimes skeptical public, particularly around COVID-19 vaccines, which, despite being comprehensively studied, were the subject of viral misinformation. Chatbots are a promising technology to reach and engage populations during the pandemic. To inform and communicate effectively with users, chatbots must be highly usable and credible.

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General Articles on Human Factors

Memes have gone “viral,” gaining increasing prominence as an effective communications strategy based on their unique ability to engage, educate, and mobilize target audiences in a call to action through a cost-efficient and culturally relevant approach. Within the medical community in particular, visual media has evolved as a means to influence clinical knowledge transfer. To this end, the GetWaivered (GW) project has leveraged memes as part of a behavioral economics toolkit to address one of the most critical public health emergencies of our time—the 20-year opioid epidemic. As part of a multidimensional digital awareness campaign to increase Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-X waiver course registration, GW investigated the results of meme usage in terms of impressions, website traffic, and ultimately user acquisition, as determined by web-based training enrollment and attendance outcomes.

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User Needs and Competencies

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, patient portals have become more widely used tools of patient care delivery. However, not all individuals have equivalent access or ability to use patient portals.

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Reviews on Human Factors

With an increase in life expectancy globally, the focus on digital health technologies that can enhance physical and mental health among older people with frailty and impairment has increased. Similarly, research interest in how digital health technology can promote well-being and self-management of health in older age has increased, including an increased focus on methods for designing digital health technologies that meet the various medical, psychological, and social needs of older population. Despite the increased focus, there remains a necessity to further understand the needs of this population group to ensure uptake and to avoid introduction of additional challenges when introducing technologies, for example, because of poor technological design. The scope is limited to digital health technologies meant to enable older people with frailty and impairment to age in place.

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Focus Groups and Qualitative Research with Users

Remote measurement technologies (RMTs) have the potential to revolutionize major depressive disorder (MDD) disease management by offering the ability to assess, monitor, and predict symptom changes. However, the promise of RMT data depends heavily on sustained user engagement over extended periods. In this paper, we report a longitudinal qualitative study of the subjective experience of people with MDD engaging with RMTs to provide insight into system usability and user experience and to provide the basis for future promotion of RMT use in research and clinical practice.

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User-centred Design Case Studies

Privacy agreements can foster trust between users and data collecting entities by reducing the fear of data sharing. Users typically identify concerns with their data privacy settings, but due to the complexity and length of privacy agreements, users opt to quickly consent and agree to the terms without fully understanding them.

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Focus Groups and Qualitative Research with Users

Bariatric surgery offers an opportunity for physical activity (PA) promotion due to patients’ increased ability to engage in PA. Technology-based PA interventions are promising tools for promoting PA to support patients in this key period. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology 2 (UTAUT2) model is a recognized theoretical model for examining technology acceptability. Although a previous study reported that 92% of women with obesity have high acceptability of at least one technology-based PA intervention, little is known about the factors that lead to different levels of acceptability between technologies and therefore the reasons for choosing a preferred intervention.

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Design and Usability of Clinical Software and EHRs

Hospitalized patients with complex care needs require an interprofessional team of health professionals working together to support their care in hospitals and during discharge planning. However, interprofessional communication and collaboration in inpatient settings are often fragmented and inefficient, leading to poor patient outcomes and provider frustration. Health information technology can potentially help improve team communication and collaboration; however, to date, evidence of its effectiveness is lacking. There are also concerns that current implementations might further fragment communication and increase the clinician burden without proven benefits.

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User-centred Design Case Studies

A healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity and a healthy diet, is becoming increasingly important in the treatment of chronic diseases. eHealth interventions that incorporate behavior change techniques (BCTs) and dynamic tailoring strategies could effectively support a healthy lifestyle. E-Supporter 1.0 is an eCoach designed to support physical activity and a healthy diet in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D).

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Focus Groups and Qualitative Research with Users

In Ontario, Canada, a government agency known as Ontario Health is responsible for making audit and feedback reports available to all family physicians to encourage ongoing quality improvement. The confidential report provides summary data on 3 key areas of practice: safe prescription, cancer screening, and diabetes management.

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