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Usability Evaluation of a Dashboard for Home Care Nurses

Dowding, Dawn, PhD, RN, FAAN; Merrill, Jacqueline A., PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, FACMI; Barrón, Yolanda, MS; Onorato, Nicole, BS; Jonas, Karyn, MSN; Russell, David, PhD

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: January 2019 - Volume 37 - Issue 1 - p 11–19
doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000484

The introduction of electronic health records has produced many challenges for clinicians. These include integrating technology into clinical workflow and fragmentation of relevant information across systems. Dashboards, which use visualized data to summarize key patient information, have the potential to address these issues. In this article, we outline a usability evaluation of a dashboard designed for home care nurses. An iterative design process was used, which consisted of (1) contextual inquiry (observation and interviews) with two home care nurses; (2) rapid feedback on paper prototypes of the dashboard (10 nurses); and (3) usability evaluation of the final dashboard prototype (20 nurses). Usability methods and assessments included observation of nurses interacting with the dashboard, the system usability scale, and the Questionnaire for User Interaction Satisfaction short form. The dashboard prototype was deemed to have high usability (mean system usability scale, 73.2 [SD, 18.8]) and was positively evaluated by nurse users. It is important to ensure that technology solutions such as the one proposed in this article are designed with clinical users in mind, to meet their information needs. The design elements of the dashboard outlined in this article could be translated to other electronic health records used in home care settings.

Author Affiliations: School of Health Sciences, University of Manchester, England (Dr Dowding); School of Nursing and Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University, New York (Dr Merrill); Center for Home Care Policy and Research, Visiting Nurse Service of New York (Mss Barrón and Onorato); Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York University (Ms Jonas); and Department of Sociology, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina (Dr Russell).

At the time of the study, D.D. was professor of nursing at Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, and the Center for Home Care Policy and Research, Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

This project was supported by grant R21HS023855 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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

Corresponding Author Dawn Dowding, PhD, RN, FAAN, Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, School of Health Sciences, University of Manchester, Room 4.327a Jean McFarlane Bldg, Oxford Rd, Manchester, England M13 9PL (

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