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From User Needs to System Specifications: Multi-disciplinary Thematic Seminars as a Collaborative Design Method for Development of Health Information Systems
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Biomedical Informatics and Engineering.
2008 (English)In: Journal of Biomedical Informatics, ISSN 1532-0464, Vol. 41, no 4, 557-569 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a new multi-disciplinary method for user needs analysis and requirements specification in the context of health information systems based on established theories from the fields of participatory design and computer supported cooperative work (CSCW). Whereas conventional methods imply a separate, sequential needs analysis for each profession, the "multi-disciplinary thematic seminar" (MdTS) method uses a collaborative design process. Application of the method in elderly homecare resulted in prototypes that were well adapted to the intended user groups. Vital information in the points of intersection between different care professions was elicited and a holistic view of the entire care process was obtained. Health informatics-usability specialists and clinical domain experts are necessary to apply the method. Although user needs acquisition can be time-consuming, MdTS was perceived to efficiently identify in-context user needs, and transformed these directly into requirements specifications. Consequently the method was perceived to expedite the entire ICT implementation process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 41, no 4, 557-569 p.
Keyword [en]
collaborative design process, integrated healthcare systems, interdisciplinary communication, needs assessment, requirements engineering, participatory design
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96624DOI: 10.1016/j.jbi.2008.01.012ISI: 000257924400005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-96624DiVA: diva2:171263
Available from: 2008-01-18 Created: 2008-01-18 Last updated: 2009-10-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Building Usability into Health Informatics: Development and Evaluation of Information Systems for Shared Homecare
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Building Usability into Health Informatics: Development and Evaluation of Information Systems for Shared Homecare
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

How can we develop usable and work process-oriented ICT systems for shared homecare?

Shared homecare involves different professionals, consists of mobile work and requires immediate and ubiquitous access to patient-oriented information, supporting an integrated view on the care process.

This thesis presents a new collaborative design method for user needs analysis and requirements specification in the context of health information systems development; the Multi-disciplinary Thematic Seminar (MdTS) method. The thesis also describes the MdTS method’s application and two different usability evaluations of the developed system.

The MdTS addresses a significant problem with health information technologies; they tend to support collaborative work of healthcare professionals poorly, sometimes leading to a fragmentation of workflow and disruption of healthcare processes. Based on human-computer interaction methods, MdTS implies a multiple-user needs analysis by thorough investigation of the entire interdisciplinary cooperative work and its transformation into technical specifications in order to develop appropriate information and communication technology (ICT) for the users’ differing work situations.

Application of the MdTS resulted in a prototype, the OLD@HOME Virtual Health Record (VHR), adapted to the specific demands in shared homecare. Through mobile devices each care professional accessed patient information in profession-specific views from an integrated platform.

This thesis provides an interesting case, illustrating how mobile ICT can support shared homecare, thereby bridging health and social care activities and improving knowledge about joint work processes.

Results from the usability evaluations were overall positive. Information needed at point of care was available on mobile devices and presented in an understandable manner. However, the evaluations also indicated that it is difficult to transfer results from one homecare setting to another due to differences in operational routines.

In conclusion, application of the MdTS method, in this study, succeeded in elicitation of correct user needs and in transferring correct requirements specifications to system developers for implementation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Universitetsbiblioteket, 2007. 104 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 301
health informatics, participatory design, user centred design, homecare services, cooperative work, integrated health information systems, mobile devices, usability evaluation
National Category
Biomedical Laboratory Science/Technology
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8403 (URN)978-91-554-7065-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-02-08, Auditorium Minus, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15
Available from: 2008-01-18 Created: 2008-01-18Bibliographically approved

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