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


The field study paradigm is a valuable tool and can identify usability issues that arise in the real world setting. Opportunities for redesign using new technology can then be sought, as can be seen from the evaluation of this CDSS in the real-clinical setting.

However, field studies can be time consuming and requires in-depth understanding of the field and system that it is being use to study.

Nevertheless, such a study would be useful during the pilot-stage, before the large scale roll-out or acquisition of clinical informatics systems, to avoid preventable end-user failures in real-world mission critical settings.

The field study paradigm can be used in conjunction with questionnaires, tailored for each specific sub-group of users, and extended data collection (including patient satisfaction and comparison of audit targets before and after implementation) to produce a qualitative evaluation on specific Health Informatics Systems in the clinical setting.

[This "human-computer-interface" evaluation was completed in 2007, based on the developments and implementation of the CDSS system studied at that point in time. This review is not exhaustive in any form or manner and does not claim to be so.

However, its method of evaluation and the usability issues identified are generic and are likely to be applicable to many CDSS in practise or development.

It does not in any way evaluate nor claim to evaluate the technical or clinical effectiveness of CDSS systems, including the one evaluated in this basic study]


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Page Updated: 17 May, 2017

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