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Usability Evaluation: Results From “Evaluation of Mobile Information Technology to Improve Nurses’ Access to and Use of Research Evidence”


CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: August 2012 - Volume 30 - Issue 8 - p 440–448
doi: 10.1097/NXN.0b013e31824af6c0
Feature Article

Usability evaluations are necessary to determine the feasibility of nurses’ interactions with computerized clinical decision-support systems. Limitations and challenges of operations that inhibit or facilitate utilization in clinical practice can be identified. This study provided nurses with mobile information terminals, PDAs and tablet PCs, to improve point-of-care access to information. The purpose of this study was to determine usability issues associated with point-of-care technology. Eleven nurses were self-selected. Nurses were videotaped and audiotaped completing four tasks, including setting up the device and three resource search exercises. A research team member completed a usability checklist. Completion times for each task, success rate, and challenges experienced were documented. Four participants completed all tasks, with an average time of 3 minutes 22 seconds. Three participants were unable to complete any of the three tasks. Navigating within resources caused the greatest occurrence of deviations with 39 issues among all participants. Results of the usability evaluation suggest that nurses require a device that (1) is manageable to navigate and (2) utilizes a user-friendly interface, such as a one-time log-in system. Usability testing can be helpful to organizations as they document issues to be cognizant of during the implementation process, increasing the potential for successful implementation and sustained usability.

Author Affiliations: Lawrence S. Bloomberg, Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, ON, Canada.

The opinions, results, and conclusion are those of the authors. No endorsement by the Nursing Secretariat or the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care is intended or should be inferred.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Tammie Leigh Di Pietro, MN, RN, University of Toronto, 130-155 College St, Toronto, ON, Canada M5T 1P8 (

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.