made as to how tasks are performedrather than unearthing the underlyingwork practices” [ 2]. Perhaps the lack ofconsideration of health providers’ workpractices in design, and the unrealisticexpectations of their engagement inthese patient-centered technologies,have led to these misconceptions. If thisis the case, making health providers’work, goals, and priorities visible fordesigners who are interested in thesepatient-driven technologies is critical.
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
How should we design patient-oriented
systems so that health providers can
use them efficiently and effectively? By
efficiently, we mean they can extract
relevant and important information
quickly. By effectively, we mean
providing the right kinds of data
at the right time for them to make
decisions. How do we integrate health
providers’ needs in the design process
to ensure that physicians’ and patients’
expectations of such systems align and
the patient-centered systems provide
adequate support for the tasks the
health providers are expected to fulfill?
Our own experiences in studying
health professionals indicated there
might be inherent challenges in their
work that prevented them from
further engaging with these emerging
patient-centered technologies. As
designers, we have to consider the
unique characteristics that shape
health providers’ work practices,
communication patterns, and
constraints at work, and to design
technologies that fit into their
workflow. Here, we outline three
main considerations based on our own
First, designers need to understand
health providers’ work and clinical
priorities and goals, and to adapt
designs so the health providers can
more likely benefit directly from new
technologies. In one study carried out
at an outpatient clinic, we spent several
months shadowing health providers and
talking to them during short breaks [ 3].
Our observations of their work showed
that it was very challenging, and often
unlikely, for providers, especially
physicians, to review patient-generated
information in their daily practices.
The main reasons are the limited
availability of time and the need to
perform a long list of predefined tasks.
During a typical 20-minute patient
visit, a physician has to complete
such tasks as reviewing the patient’s P H
SEP TEMBER–OCTOBER 2014 INTERACTIONS 75 INTERAC TIONS. ACM.ORG
providers’ work, goals,
and priorities visible for
designers is critical.