A user needs assessment to inform health information exchange design and implementation.
BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2015;15(1):81
Authors: Strauss AT, Martinez DA, Garcia-Arce A, Taylor S, Mateja C, Fabri PJ, Zayas-Castro JL
BACKGROUND: Important barriers for widespread use of health information exchange (HIE) are usability and interface issues. However, most HIEs are implemented without performing a needs assessment with the end users, healthcare providers. We performed a user needs assessment for the process of obtaining clinical information from other health care organizations about a hospitalized patient and identified the types of information most valued for medical decision-making.
METHODS: Quantitative and qualitative analysis were used to evaluate the process to obtain and use outside clinical information (OI) using semi-structured interviews (16 internists), direct observation (750 h), and operational data from the electronic medical records (30,461 hospitalizations) of an internal medicine department in a public, teaching hospital in Tampa, Florida.
RESULTS: 13.7 % of hospitalizations generate at least one request for OI. On average, the process comprised 13 steps, 6 decisions points, and 4 different participants. Physicians estimate that the average time to receive OI is 18 h. Physicians perceived that OI received is not useful 33-66 % of the time because information received is irrelevant or not timely. Technical barriers to OI use included poor accessibility and ineffective information visualization. Common problems with the process were receiving extraneous notes and the need to re-request the information. Drivers for OI use were to trend lab or imaging abnormalities, understand medical history of critically ill or hospital-to-hospital transferred patients, and assess previous echocardiograms and bacterial cultures. About 85 % of the physicians believe HIE would have a positive effect on improving healthcare delivery.
CONCLUSIONS: Although hospitalists are challenged by a complex process to obtain OI, they recognize the value of specific information for enhancing medical decision-making. HIE systems are likely to have increased utilization and effectiveness if specific patient-level clinical information is delivered at the right time to the right users.
PMID: 26459258 [PubMed - in process]