Clinical Informatics

Evaluating a Clinical Decision Support System: A basic field study approach


  1. Introduction

  2. Evaluation framework and techniques

  3. Evaluation processes

    1. Basic usability

    2. Field study results

  4. Redesign possibilities

  5. Strengths and weaknesses of the field study approach

  6. Conclusion

  7. References

Evaluation Process

The evaluation of basic usability will be based on Usability Goals.(4) Consisting of:

  1. Effectiveness
  2. Efficiency
  3. Safety
  4. Utility
  5. Learnability and
  6. Memorability of the system

For evaluation of the “fit” of the system in the broader context of work, I will use the field-study paradigm. This will allow a broad base study of all the main user groups in their natural work environment and enable the evaluator to see if the system fits into the clinical and nursing workflows. This is important in determining whether a clinical decision support system is adopted by its users in the long term.

Field study would also enable the evaluator to (4) :

  1. Identify opportunities for new technology
  2. Determine further requirements for redesign
  3. Facilitate the introduction of new technology

Multi-media capture of data was not used due to time and logistic constraints. Furthermore, using any form of media capture would alter the behaviour of the users and may not result in an accurate representation of the “real” work that goes on in the actual clinical setting. It would also be impractical to carry any significant amount of equipment around during clinical work.

Ideally, there would be at least two evaluators in the study in order to compare notes and form a more balance assessment.

The study should also ideally be carried on until there are no new observations noted, when patterns observed repeat themselves or when one has managed to listen to all the main stakeholders and understand their perspectives.(3)


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Page Updated: 17 May, 2017

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