Identification of design features to enhance utilization and acceptance of systems for Internet-based decision support at the point of care.
Extensive utilization of point-of-care decision support systems will be largely dependent on the development of user interaction capabilities that make them effective clinical tools in patient care settings. This research identified critical design features of point-of-care decision support systems that are preferred by physicians, through a multi-method formative evaluation of an evolving prototype of an Internet-based clinical decision support system. Clinicians used four versions of the system--each highlighting a different functionality. Surveys and qualitative evaluation methodologies assessed clinicians' perceptions regarding system usability and usefulness. Our analyses identified features that improve perceived usability, such as telegraphic representations of guideline-related information, facile navigation, and a forgiving, flexible interface. Users also preferred features that enhance usefulness and motivate use, such as an encounter documentation tool and the availability of physician instruction and patient education materials. In addition to identifying design features that are relevant to efforts to develop clinical systems for point-of-care decision support, this study demonstrates the value of combining quantitative and qualitative methods of formative evaluation with an iterative system development strategy to implement new information technology in complex clinical settings.
Gadd, CS; Baskaran, P; Lobach, DF
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