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Comparative usability evaluation of consultation order templates in a simulated primary care environment.

Savoy A, Patel H, Flanagan ME, Daggy JK, Russ AL, Weiner M. Comparative usability evaluation of consultation order templates in a simulated primary care environment. Applied ergonomics. 2018 Nov 1; 73:22-32.

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Communication breakdowns in the referral process negatively impact clinical workflow and patient safety. There is a lack of evidence demonstrating the impact of published design recommendations addressing contributing issues with consultation order templates. This study translated the recommendations into a computer-based prototype and conducted a comparative usability evaluation. With a scenario-based simulation, 30 clinicians (referrers) participated in a within-group, counterbalanced experiment comparing the prototype with their present electronic order entry system. The prototype significantly increased satisfaction (Cohen's d? = 1.80, 95% CI [1.19, 2.41], p? < .001), and required significantly less mental effort (d? = 0.67 [0.14, 1.20], p? < .001). Regarding efficiency, the prototype required significantly fewer mouse clicks (mean difference? = 29 clicks, p? < .001). Although overall task time did not differ significantly (d? = -0.05 [-0.56, 0.47]), the prototype significantly quickened identification of the appropriate specialty clinic (mean difference? = 12?s, d? = 0.98 [0.43, 1.52], p? < .001). The experimental evidence demonstrated that clinician-centered interfaces significantly improved system usability during ordering of consultations.

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