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Caring Meets Technology: Health Information Technology

TIGER Usability and Clinical Application Design Collaborative

The Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) aims to align nurses’ workflow with information needs. If nurses experience challenges in accessing and applying clinical data, then this could correlate with reduced patient care outcomes (Schlotzer & Madsen, 2010). The TIGER Usability and Clinical Design Application Collaborative aim to develop the best innovative technologies based on sound clinical designs that support nurses in their daily duties. This is achieved by defining concepts and trends that characterize health information technology (HIT). Once the key concepts and trends are identified, healthcare providers and HIT vendors work together to produce clinical systems that support patient care within healthcare organizations (Gruber, Cummings, Leblanc & Smith, 2009; Schlotzer & Madsen, 2010). The collaborative approach adopted by the TIGER is based on three principles. First, early identification of needs of the end-users of a proposed technology within healthcare organizations. Second, repetitive design processes attempt to align user needs with clinical tasks and multiple environments. Third, regular evaluations are aimed to ascertain the level of product usability.

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Best practice exemplars

HIT best practice exemplars perform excellent applications within healthcare organizations. The usability of HIT is a key element that is possessed by excellent innovative technologies. Usability is increased by user training and efficient product designs that support the use of healthcare technologies (Schlotzer & Madsen, 2010). Best HIT exemplars are characterized by a high level of consistency that ensures that technology is applied uniformly across various systems within a healthcare organization. Best HIT exemplars support excellent practices because they are based on the effective use of language that is meaningful and concise to healthcare professionals. In addition, best HIT exemplars ensure that workflow within healthcare institutions is optimized (Hannah et al., 2011).

The implementation of the HIT

The implementation of the HIT was characterized by numerous usability challenges that made it so cumbersome to be applied within the healthcare organization. The usability challenges experienced during the implementation were a result of the design and implementation issues of the HIT. The following factors were responsible for the usability challenges: human-computer interaction, human factors, and ergonomics. The possible design failures were a result of the designers not aligning user needs with system capabilities (Hannah et al., 2011).

Cohesive response

Challenges (as a result of implementation) and factors

The challenges faced were a result of implementation issues. The end-users received limited training to expose them to HIT. Thus, they could hardly use the HIT for clinical care practices. Most healthcare professionals could not know how to input patients’ data for processing and storage. Human-computer interaction also impacted the implementation process negatively. Most of the healthcare professionals within the institution were reluctant to adopt the HIT because they had limited knowledge of the use of computers. For HIT to succeed, end-users must be well trained so that they could know various aspects of the technology and troubleshooting strategies. Also, computers were not strategically positioned for easier access by the end-users. This implied that the end-users could go to different rooms to access the HIT. Human factors also hindered the successful implementation of the HIT. Many end-users were experiencing difficulties in remembering to log out from the HIT. This posed a great threat in exposing patients’ confidential data.

Strategies to overcome the strategies

Tested strategies could be used to overcome the above usability challenges. First, a comprehensive end-user education program could be rolled out to train the users on how to use the HIT. Second, the management should commit funds to purchase enough computers that could be used in all departments within the organization. Third, organizational culture change could be initiated so that the end-users better appreciate the use and benefits of the HIT within the institution (Hannah et al., 2011; Kaufman, Roberts, Merrill, Lai & Bakken, 2006).

References

Gruber, D., Cummings, G. G., Leblanc, L., & Smith, D. L. (2009). Factors influencing outcomes of clinical information systems implementation: a systematic review. Computers Informatics Nursing, 27(3), 151-163.

Hannah, K. J., DuLong, D., Newbold, S. K., Sensmeier, J. E., Skiba, D. J., Troseth, M. R.,… & Douglas, J. V. (Eds.). (2011). Nursing informatics: Where technology and caring meet. New York, NY: Springer.

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Kaufman, D., Roberts, W. D., Merrill, J., Lai, T. Y., & Bakken, S. (2006). Applying an evaluation framework for health information system design, development, and implementation. Nursing research, 55(2), 37-42.

Schlotzer, A., & Madsen, M. (2010). Health information systems: requirements and characteristics. Studies in health technology and informatics, 151(1), 156.

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