presentation of multidimensional data, he believes it to be one of the best visualizations in history and a key graphic for thoughtful future designs.Figure 4.13 Ed Tufte with a Graphical Depiction of Napolean’s March to Russia
Application to Health ITThere are myriad ways that design principles can be applied to health information technology, but a recent, compelling study examined the different way that EHRs visualize lab information (Sittig, 2015). In this study, the researchers found that there are multiple ways which commercially supported EHRs may be deficient in the visualization of such information. Several violations of user-centered design areshown highlighted below in Figure 5.7.Figure 4.14 Illustrative sample of how lab data may be inadequately visualized in EHR (Sittig, 2015)
Conclusions from this research found that such visualizations could have a significant, negative impact on patient safety. Such research suggests that many current EHR-generated graphs do not meet evidence-based criteria aimed at improving laboratory data comprehension (Sittig, 2015).Usability TestingUsability testing refers to evaluating a product or service by testing it with representative users. Typically, during a test, participants will try to complete typical tasks while observers watch, listen and takes notes. The goal is to identify any usability problems, collect qualitative and quantitative data and determine the participant's satisfaction with the product (Usability.gov, 2015). EHRs are planned tobegin undergoing usability testing as part of the ONC’s oversight of the Meaningful Use program, although the details of such testing are not solidified at this time. Many EHRs have previously undergone usability analysis as part of EHR certification for Meaningful Use and those results may be accessed via the ONC’s Certified Health Product List (ONC, 2015).There are many means of usability testing, some of which are relatively expensive but others that do require significant investment in technology and laboratory setup (NIST,2014):
Artifact review Examination of cognitive artifacts used by users in order to identify tasks, strategies, and information and coordination needs.Cognitive walkthrough A step-by-step process of having the user or team of users talk about their thinking and action-taking process while performing specific predefined tasks. It can be done while the user is performing or after they completed performing the task. A think-aloud protocol is often employed, where the user talks about their thinking process while they perform the tasks.Contextual inquiry and observationUnobtrusive observation of users performing relevant tasks supported by information technology in their natural working environments. This method is typically used early in the design process of EHR components and conceptualizing possible workflows.
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