We compared use of a new diabetes dashboard screen with use of a conventional approach of viewing multiple electronic health record (EHR) screens to find data needed for ambulatory diabetes care.
We performed a usability study, including a quantitative time study and qualitative analysis of information-seeking behaviors. While being recorded with Morae Recorder software and “think-aloud” interview methods, 10 primary care physicians first searched their EHR for 10 diabetes data elements using a conventional approach for a simulated patient, and then using a new diabetes dashboard for another. We measured time, number of mouse clicks, and accuracy. Two coders analyzed think-aloud and interview data using grounded theory methodology.
The mean time needed to find all data elements was 5.5 minutes using the conventional approach vs 1.3 minutes using the diabetes dashboard (P <.001). Physicians correctly identified 94% of the data requested using the conventional method, vs 100% with the dashboard (P <.01). The mean number of mouse clicks was 60 for conventional searching vs 3 clicks with the diabetes dashboard (P <.001). A common theme was that in everyday practice, if physicians had to spend too much time searching for data, they would either continue without it or order a test again.
Using a patient-specific diabetes dashboard improves both the efficiency and accuracy of acquiring data needed for high-quality diabetes care. Usability analysis tools can provide important insights into the value of optimizing physician use of health information technologies.
Koopman RJ, Kochendorfer KM, Moore JL, Mehr DR, Wakefield DS, Yadamsuren B, et al. A Diabetes Dashboard and Physician Efficiency and Accuracy in Accessing Data Needed for High-Quality Diabetes Care. Ann Fam Med. 2011 Sep 1;9(5):398–405.