CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Appl Clin Inform 2019; 10(03): 454-470
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1692400
Research Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Usability Evaluation of Visual Representation Formats for Emergency Department Records

Nathaniel Brown
1  Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Health Informatics Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
2  Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
,
Aboozar Eghdam
1  Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Health Informatics Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
,
Sabine Koch
1  Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Health Informatics Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
› Institutsangaben
Weitere Informationen

Publikationsverlauf

05. Februar 2019

29. April 2019

Publikationsdatum:
26. Juni 2019 (online)

  

Abstract

Background Integration of electronic information is a challenge for multitasking emergency providers, with implications for patient safety. Visual representations can assist sense-making of complex data sets; however, benefit and acceptability in emergency care is unproven.

Objectives This article evaluates visually focused alternatives to lists or tabular formats, to better understand possible usability in Emergency Department Information System (EDIS).

Methods A counterbalanced, repeated-measures experiment, satisfaction surveys, and narrative content analysis was conducted remotely by Web platform. Participants were 37 American emergency physicians; they completed 16 clinical cases comparing 4 visual designs to the control formats from a commercially available EDIS. They then evaluated two additional chart overview representations without controls.

Results Visual designs provided benefit in several areas compared to controls. Task correctness (90% to 76%; p = 0.003) and completion time (median: 49–74 seconds; p < 0.001) were superior for a medication history timeline with class and schedule highlighting. Completion time (median: 45–60 seconds; p = 0.03) was superior for a past medical history design, using pertinent diagnosis codes in highlighting rules. Less mental effort was reported for visual allergy (p = 0.04), past medical history (p < 0.001), and medication timeline (p < 0.001) designs. Most of the participants agreed with statements of likeability, preference, and benefit for visual designs; nonetheless, contrary opinions were seen, and more complex designs were viewed less favorably.

Conclusion Physician performance with visual representations of clinical data can in some cases exceed standard formats, even in absence of training. Highlighting of priority clinical categories was rated easier-to-use on average than unhighlighted controls. Perceived complexity of timeline representations can limit desirability for a subset of users, despite potential benefit.

Protection of Human and Animal Subjects

The study was performed in compliance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects. A formal ethics declaration was evaluated in institutional review and approved prior to the project. No real patient data was used. All patient cases are fictional. All physician participants completed a standard written informed consent. Benefits to participants exceeded risks of harm; they are not a vulnerable group and freely chose to participate.