Usability Testing a Potentially Inappropriate Medication Dashboard: A Core Component of the Dashboard Development Process
Background With the increased usage of dashboard reporting systems to monitor and track patient panels by clinical users, developers must ensure that the information displays they produce are accurate and intuitive. When evaluating usability of a clinical dashboard among potential end users, developers oftentimes rely on methods such as questionnaires as opposed to other, more time-intensive strategies that incorporate direct observation.
Objectives Prior to release of the potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) clinical dashboard, designed to facilitate completion of a quality improvement project by clinician scholars enrolled in the Veterans Affairs (VA) workforce development Geriatric Scholars Program (GSP), we evaluated the usability of the system. This article describes the process of usability testing a dashboard reporting system with clinicians using direct observation and think-aloud moderating techniques.
Methods We developed a structured interview protocol that combines virtual observation, think-aloud moderating techniques, and retrospective questioning of the overall user experience, including use of the System Usability Scale (SUS). Thematic analysis was used to analyze field notes from the interviews of three GSP alumni.
Results Our structured approach to usability testing identified specific functional problems with the dashboard reporting system that were missed by results from the SUS. Usability testing lead to overall improvements in the intuitive use of the system, increased data transparency, and clarification of the dashboard's purpose.
Conclusion Reliance solely on questionnaires and surveys at the end stages of dashboard development can mask potential functional problems that will impede proper usage and lead to misinterpretation of results. A structured approach to usability testing in the developmental phase is an important tool for developers of clinician friendly systems for displaying easily digested information and tracking outcomes for the purpose of quality improvement.
Keywordsquality improvement - informatics - user–computer interface - inappropriate medication - decision support systems
Protection of Human and Animal Subjects
This study was characterized as a nonresearch operational activity and not human subject research.
Received: 24 March 2020
Accepted: 21 June 2020
12 August 2020 (online)
© 2020. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Stuttgart · New York
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