Advances in digital pathology are accelerating integration of this technology into anatomic pathology (AP). To optimize implementation and adoption of digital pathology systems within a large healthcare organization, initial assessment of both end user (pathologist) needs and organizational infrastructure are required. Contextual inquiry is a qualitative, user-centered tool for collecting, interpreting, and aggregating such detailed data about work practices that can be employed to help identify specific needs and requirements.
Using contextual inquiry, the objective of this study was to identify the unique work practices and requirements in AP for the United States (US) Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) that had to be targeted in order to support their transition to digital pathology.
Subjects and Methods:
A pathology-centered observer team conducted 1.5 h interviews with a total of 24 AFMS pathologists and histology lab personnel at three large regional centers and one smaller peripheral AFMS pathology center using contextual inquiry guidelines. Findings were documented as notes and arranged into a hierarchal organization of common themes based on user-provided data, defined as an affinity diagram. These data were also organized into consolidated graphic models that characterized AFMS pathology work practices, structure, and requirements.
Over 1,200 recorded notes were grouped into an affinity diagram composed of 27 third-level, 10 second-level, and five main-level (workflow and workload distribution, quality, communication, military culture, and technology) categories. When combined with workflow and cultural models, the findings revealed that AFMS pathologists had needs that were unique to their military setting, when compared to civilian pathologists. These unique needs included having to serve a globally distributed patient population, transient staff, but a uniform information technology (IT) structure.
The contextual inquiry method helped reveal similarities and key differences with civilian pathologists. Such an analysis helped identify specific instances that would benefit from implementing digital pathology in a military environment. Employing digital pathology to facilitate workload distribution, secondary consultations, and quality assurance (over-reads) could help the AFMS deliver more accurate, efficient, and timely AP services at a global level.
Air force; anatomic pathology; consultation; contextual inquiry; digital pathology; informatics; workflow; workload distribution
Academic literature and international standards bodies suggest that user involvement, via the incorporation of human factors engineering methods within the medical device design and development (MDDD) process, offer many benefits that enable the development of safer and more usable medical devices that are better suited to users' needs. However, little research has been carried out to explore medical device manufacturers' beliefs and attitudes towards user involvement within this process, or indeed what value they believe can be added by doing so.
In-depth interviews with representatives from 11 medical device manufacturers are carried out. We ask them to specify who they believe the intended users of the device to be, who they consult to inform the MDDD process, what role they believe the user plays within this process, and what value (if any) they believe users add. Thematic analysis is used to analyse the fully transcribed interview data, to gain insight into medical device manufacturers' beliefs and attitudes towards user involvement within the MDDD process.
A number of high-level themes emerged, relating who the user is perceived to be, the methods used, the perceived value and barriers to user involvement, and the nature of user contributions. The findings reveal that despite standards agencies and academic literature offering strong support for the employment formal methods, manufacturers are still hesitant due to a range of factors including: perceived barriers to obtaining ethical approval; the speed at which such activity may be carried out; the belief that there is no need given the 'all-knowing' nature of senior health care staff and clinical champions; a belief that effective results are achievable by consulting a minimal number of champions. Furthermore, less senior health care practitioners and patients were rarely seen as being able to provide valuable input into the process.
Medical device manufacturers often do not see the benefit of employing formal human factors engineering methods within the MDDD process. Research is required to better understand the day-to-day requirements of manufacturers within this sector. The development of new or adapted methods may be required if user involvement is to be fully realised.
Increasing recognition has been given to the interaction of users and researchers in shaping the perspective and practice of mental health care. However, there remains very little evidence exploring how this interaction works, particularly in low and middle income countries. The aim of this study was to explore experiences of how users and researchers worked together to communicate research, using a case study of the EMPOWER project.
The study followed a case-study approach. EMPOWER was a project that sought to strengthen the capacity of user organizations in India, Kenya, Nepal and Zambia by encouraging user-researcher collaborations to communicate research findings in the four countries. A qualitative research method was applied for this study, with semi-structured interviews conducted with seven people: two researchers, one communications developer, and four user group members (one from each of the four countries). Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.
The findings indicated positive perceptions of the collaboration between researchers and users. Key themes were partnership and support, the value of the personal experience of users and their knowledge of the target audiences, and empowerment. Key challenges related to differences in levels of education and technical knowledge and the lack of payments to users.
This exploratory study provides insight to help understand collaborative processes for communicating mental health research. It highlights many positive outcomes from the EMPOWER collaboration but also highlights the need for more in-depth research on this issue.
Mental health; Research; User
To reduce the large public health burden of the high prevalence of depression, preventive interventions targeted at people at risk are essential and can be cost-effective. Web-based interventions are able to provide this care, but there is no agreement on how to best develop these applications and often the technology is seen as a given. This seems to be one of the main reasons that web-based interventions do not reach their full potential. The current study describes the development of a web-based intervention for the indicated prevention of depression, employing the CeHRes (Center for eHealth Research and Disease Management) roadmap. The goals are to create a user-friendly application which fits the values of the stakeholders and to evaluate the process of development.
The employed methods are a literature scan and discussion in the contextual inquiry; interviews, rapid prototyping and a requirement session in the value specification stage; and user-based usability evaluation, expert-based usability inspection and a requirement session in the design stage.
The contextual inquiry indicated that there is a need for easily accessible interventions for the indicated prevention of depression and web-based interventions are seen as potentially meeting this need. The value specification stage yielded expected needs of potential participants, comments on the usefulness of the proposed features and comments on two proposed designs of the web-based intervention. The design stage yielded valuable comments on the system, content and service of the web-based intervention.
Overall, we found that by developing the technology, we successfully (re)designed the system, content and service of the web-based intervention to match the values of stakeholders. This study has shown the importance of a structured development process of a web-based intervention for the indicated prevention of depression because: (1) it allows the development team to clarify the needs that have to be met for the intervention to be of use to the target audience; and (2) it yields feedback on the design of the application that is broader than color and buttons, but encompasses comments on the quality of the service that the application offers.
Development; Web-based intervention; Depression; Indicated prevention; Process evaluation; Acceptance and commitment therapy
To investigate whether patients’ expectations influence how they take their medications by looking at the expectations patients have of their medications and the factors that affect these expectations.
Qualitative study using in-depth interviews and a grounded-theory approach.
A large city in Ontario.
A total of 18 community-dwelling adult patients taking medication for at least 6 months.
Both purposive and convenience sampling techniques were used. The initial strategy comprised stratified, maximum variation, and typical case sampling. The research team developed a semistructured interview guide after a preliminary review of the literature. Individual, face-to-face, in-depth interviews were conducted and audiotaped. At the end of the interviews, basic demographic information was collected. Interviewers were debriefed following each interview and their comments on relevant contextual information, general impressions of the interview, and possible changes to the interview guide were audiotaped. Audiotapes of each interview, including the debriefing, were transcribed verbatim, cleaned, and given a unique identifying number. At least 2 team members participated in analyzing the data using an operational code book that was modified to accommodate emerging themes as analysis continued.
Patients’ expectations were more realistic than idealistic. Many participants acted on their expectations by changing their medication regimens on their own or by seeking additional information on their medications. Expectations were affected by patients’ beliefs, past experiences with medications, relationships with their health care providers, other people’s beliefs, and the cost of medication. Patients actively engaged in strategies to confirm or modify their expectations of their medications.
A range of factors (most notably past experiences with medications and relationships with health care providers) influenced patients’ expectations of their medications. More comprehensive discussion between patients and their health care providers about these factors could affect whether medications are used optimally.
The last decade has seen the introduction of new technology which has transformed many aspects of our culture, commerce, communication and education. This study examined how medical teachers and learners are using mobile computing devices such as the iPhone in medical education and practice, and how they envision them being used in the future.
Semistructured interviews were conducted with medical students, residents and faculty to examine participants’ attitudes about the current and future use of mobile computing devices in medical education and practice. A thematic approach was used to summarise ideas and concepts expressed, and to develop an online survey. A mixed methods approach was used to integrate qualitative and quantitative findings.
Setting and participants
Medical students, residents and faculty at a large Canadian medical school in 2011.
Interviews were conducted with 18 participants (10 students, 7 residents and 1 faculty member). Only 213 participants responded to the online survey (76 students, 65 residents and 41 faculty members). Over 85% of participants reported using a mobile-computing device. The main uses described for mobile devices related to information management, communication and time management. Advantages identified were portability, flexibility, access to multimedia and the ability to look up information quickly. Challenges identified included: superficial learning, not understanding how to find good learning resources, distraction, inappropriate use and concerns about access and privacy. Both medical students and physicians expressed the view that the use of these devices in medical education and practice will increase in the future.
This new technology offers the potential to enhance learning and patient care, but also has potential problems associated with its use. It is important for leadership in medical schools and healthcare organisations to set the agenda in this rapidly developing area to maximise the benefits of this powerful new technology while avoiding unintended consequences.
mobile computing devices; smartphone; iPhone
The PRISMA France project consists in the implementation of a global services integration in which a case management services is dedicated to old people with complex needs. One of the purposes of the research team was to analyze the representations of the users, i.e., the old people and their proxies, of the case management service through their own experience of profane expert.
According to the literature that deals with qualitative interviewing, we consider that the users of case management are able to express themselves on the benefit and the failures of the case management services even if some of them suffer from cognitive impairments.
In this view, 30 comprehensive and semi-structured talks were done, 19 old people and 11 proxies. All the interviews were face to face interview and were done by an anthropologist. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed by focusing on the node of sense in the user’s words.
Results and conclusions
On one side, the proxies describe the case manager as the one who give answers face to the complexity of the system. On the other side, the old people insisted on the relationship established with their case manager. She/he is the one who listens and asks questions in order to help them.
The analysis of the user’s representations raises three main points:
Is the main role of the case manager is to bring an answer to the failures of the system?
By basing their representation of the case management on relational continuity, the old people reduce the work of the case manager of the work he/she done at home. So, when the presence of the case manager diminished, old people think that his/her work in not efficient.
How the policy makers could include the user’s points of view in the implementation of such kind of service?
case management; user’s representations; qualitative analysis
Many funding bodies require researchers to actively involve service users in research to improve relevance, accountability and quality. Current guidance to researchers mainly discusses general principles. Formal guidance about how to involve service users operationally in the conduct of trials is lacking. We aimed to develop a standard operating procedure (SOP) to support researchers to involve service users in trials and rigorous studies.
Researchers with experience of involving service users and service users who were contributing to trials collaborated with the West Wales Organisation for Rigorous Trials in Health, a registered clinical trials unit, to develop the SOP. Drafts were prepared in a Task and Finish Group, reviewed by all co-authors and amendments made.
We articulated core principles, which defined equality of service users with all other research team members and collaborative processes underpinning the SOP, plus guidance on how to achieve these. We developed a framework for involving service users in research that defined minimum levels of collaboration plus additional consultation and decision-making opportunities. We recommended service users be involved throughout the life of a trial, including planning and development, data collection, analysis and dissemination, and listed tasks for collaboration. We listed people responsible for involving service users in studies and promoting an inclusive culture. We advocate actively involving service users as early as possible in the research process, with a minimum of two on all formal trial groups and committees. We propose that researchers protect at least 1% of their total research budget as a minimum resource to involve service users and allow enough time to facilitate active involvement.
This SOP provides guidance to researchers to involve service users successfully in developing and conducting clinical trials and creating a culture of actively involving service users in research at all stages. The UK Clinical Research Collaboration should encourage clinical trials units actively to involve service users and research funders should provide sufficient funds and time for this in research grants.
Consumer participation; Consumer involvement; Clinical trials; Service user involvement
OBJECTIVES: To assess user and potential user views on the appropriateness, nature and quality of genitourinary medicine (GUM) provision in Bristol, UK and to develop a model for ongoing user consultation by GUM providers and purchasers. DESIGN: This qualitative study was based on semi-structured interviews with service users, potential users, community informants and NHS professionals. PARTICIPANTS: 76 current, past or potential users, 10 community informants and 11 NHS professionals were interviewed. African-Caribbean women and men, homeless men and women, lesbians and gay men, men and women living with HIV and women working in the sex industry were recruited to maximise the diversity of the sample. RESULTS: The interviews demonstrated that participants commented positively on many aspects of the service available. The research also identified a number of areas where the service could be improved. Many users emphasised their initial difficulty in finding out about the department and the need for greater publicity and outreach. Users reported coming to the clinic with high levels of anxiety and negative preconceptions about the GUM service. Specific issues were identified for different groups of users. There was a strongly expressed need from a number of women and African-Caribbean men for completely single sex clinics. CONCLUSIONS: The research identified a number of issues of importance to service users that had not been identified in the department's own questionnaire surveys. The results support the premise that qualitative interviews can be successfully employed to access a diverse sample of users, and can offer insights significantly beyond those available from structured patient questionnaires.
The aim of this paper is to show how researchers balance between scientific rigour and localisation in conducting pragmatic trial research. Our case is the Quattro Study, a pragmatic trial on the effectiveness of multidisciplinary patient care teams used in primary health care centres in deprived neighbourhoods of two major cities in the Netherlands for intensified secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
For this study an ethnographic design was used. We observed and interviewed the researchers and the practice nurses. All gathered research documents, transcribed observations and interviews were analysed thematically.
Conducting a pragmatic trial is a continuous balancing act between meeting methodological demands and implementing a complex intervention in routine primary health care. As an effect, the research design had to be adjusted pragmatically several times and the intervention that was meant to be tailor-made became a rather stringent procedure.
A pragmatic trial research is a dynamic process that, in order to be able to assess the validity and reliability of any effects of interventions must also have a continuous process of methodological and practical reflection. Ethnographic analysis, as we show, is therefore of complementary value.
Patients across North America are using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) with increasing frequency as part of their management of many different health conditions. The objective of this study was to develop a guide for academic health sciences centers that may wish to consider starting an integrative medicine program.
We queried North American leaders in the field of integrative medicine to identify initial sites. Key stakeholders at each of the initial sites visited were then asked to identify additional potential study sites (snowball sampling), until no new sites were identified. We conducted structured interviews to identify critical factors associated with success and failure in each of four domains: research, education, clinical care, and administration. During the interviews, field notes were recorded independently by at least two investigators. Team meetings were held after each visit to reach consensus on the information recorded and to ensure that it was as complete as possible. Content analysis techniques were used to identify key themes that emerged from the field notes.
We identified ten leading North American integrative medical centers, and visited nine during 2002–2003. The centers visited suggested that the initiation of an integrative medicine program requires a significant initial outlay of funding and a motivated "champion". The centers had important information to share regarding credentialing, medico-legal issues and billing for clinical programs; identifying researchers and research projects for a successful research program; and strategies for implementing flexible educational initiatives and establishing a functional administrative structure.
Important lessons can be learned from academic integrative programs already in existence. Such initiatives are timely and feasible in a variety of different ways and in a variety of settings.
This paper examines how the adoption of a subject-specific library service has changed the way in which its users interact with a digital library. The LitMiner text-analysis application was developed to enable biologists to explore gene relationships in the published literature. The application features a suite of interfaces that enable users to search PubMed as well as local databases, to view document abstracts, to filter terms, to select gene name aliases, and to visualize the co-occurrences of genes in the literature. At each of these stages, LitMiner offers the functionality of a digital library. Documents that are accessible online are identified by an icon. Users can also order documents from their institution's library collection from within the application. In so doing, LitMiner aims to integrate digital library services into the research process of its users.
This integration of digital library services into the research process of biologists results in increased access to the published literature.
In order to make better use of their collections, digital libraries should customize their services to suit the research needs of their patrons.
Evaluation is an integral part of medical education. Despite a wide use of various evaluation tools, little is known about student perceptions regarding the purpose and desired consequences of evaluation. Such knowledge is important to facilitate interpretation of evaluation results. The aims of this study were to elicit student views on the purpose of evaluation, indicators of teaching quality, evaluation tools and possible consequences drawn from evaluation data.
This qualitative study involved 17 undergraduate medical students in Years 3 and 4 participating in 3 focus group interviews. Content analysis was conducted by two different researchers.
Evaluation was viewed as a means to facilitate improvements within medical education. Teaching quality was believed to be dependent on content, process, teacher and student characteristics as well as learning outcome, with an emphasis on the latter. Students preferred online evaluations over paper-and-pencil forms and suggested circulating results among all faculty and students. Students strongly favoured the allocation of rewards and incentives for good teaching to individual teachers.
In addition to assessing structural aspects of teaching, evaluation tools need to adequately address learning outcome. The use of reliable and valid evaluation methods is a prerequisite for resource allocation to individual teachers based on evaluation results.
Undergraduate medical education; Evaluation; Purpose; Consequence; Learning outcome
Harm reduction is a relatively new and controversial model for treating drug users, with little formal research on its operation and effectiveness. In order to advance the study of harm reduction programs and our understanding of how drug users define their progress, qualitative research was conducted to develop outcomes of harm reduction programming that are culturally relevant, incremental, (i.e., capable of measuring change), and hierarchical (i.e., capable of showing how clients improve over time).
The study used nominal group technique (NGT) to develop the outcomes (phase 1) and focus group interviews to help validate the findings (phase 2). Study participants were recruited from a large harm-reduction program in New York City and involved approximately 120 clients in 10 groups in phase 1 and 120 clients in 10 focus groups in phase 2.
Outcomes of 10 life areas important to drug users were developed that included between 10 to 15 incremental measures per outcome. The outcomes included ways of 1) making money; 2) getting something good to eat; 3) being housed/homeless; 4) relating to families; 5) getting needed programs/benefits/services; 6) handling health problems; 7) handling negative emotions; 8) handling legal problems; 9) improving oneself; and 10) handling drug-use problems. Findings also provided insights into drug users' lives and values, as well as a window into understanding how this population envisions a better quality of life. Results challenged traditional ways of measuring drug users based solely on quantity used and frequency of use. They suggest that more appropriate measures are based on the extent to which drug users organize their lives around drug use and how much drug use is integrated into their lives and negatively impacts other aspects of their lives.
Harm reduction and other programs serving active drug users and other marginalized people should not rely on institutionalized, provider-defined solutions to problems in living faced by their clients.
A few hospitals in the Netherlands have been introducing digital patient portals. Patient portals are secured internet environments for patients to log into from their homes to exchange information with their care provider. Such portals can be seen as an application of e-health that encourages patient’s self management. User acceptance is an important precondition for successful implementation. Research on patient user acceptance has already occurred. This project is about the user acceptance of the professional healthcare provider. The focus is on nurses, because in the Netherlands nurses play a crucial role in developing and implementing a portal, as well as in introducing the portal to the patient. Besides that, they have to integrate the portal tasks with their other work.
This qualitative research describes the extent to which and the manner in which nurses accept digital patient portals. It is investigated how the portals are developed and implemented, how nurses use and appreciate the portals and which factors are important for realizing user acceptance of professional health care providers.
In-depth interviews were executed with 18 respondents of two University Medical Centers in the Netherlands. The group consisted of 12 nurses and nursing specialists, 2 doctors, 2 researchers, 1 communication officer and 1 manager. Interview topics were derived from the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT).
The results show that the degree of acceptance among nurses is great. Nurses see the introduction of patient portals as an inevitable development. Essential for nurses’ acceptance is the ‘perceived usefulness’, especially from patient’s perspective. Perceived usefulness from their own perspective (ease-to-use) also plays a role but this is of less importance. The e-consult is relevant. However, it will not substitute usual (face-to-face or telephone) contacts, unless e-consult is part of the scheduled treatment plan. But this is still rarely the case and actually a cultural change in professional practice, a digital revolution is needed. Moreover, the work is not yet designed for e-health; time and costs for e-health are not yet reimbursed in the Dutch context. Nurses see the portal as an additional service for patients, because it offers them the possibility for asking questions at any time and place suitable for the patient. Some nurses experience an increase in work load, because patients ask more non-urgent questions that otherwise would not be asked. Other nurses observe a decrease of workload, because of a decrease of consultations about laboratory test results.
The user acceptance from nurses is great. Most important motive is the perceived usefulness for the patient. The patient portal is seen as an extra service for the patient, and the nurses are prepared to deliver this service. There is a risk of increased workload. Exploiting the potentials for greater efficiency requires a cultural change in professional practice.
e-health; patient portal; nurse; usability; implementation
Health, fair financing and responsiveness to the user's needs and expectations are seen as the essential objectives of health systems. Efforts have been made to conceptualise and measure responsiveness as a basis for evaluating the non-health aspects of health systems performance. This study assesses the applicability of the responsiveness tool developed by WHO when applied in the context of voluntary HIV counselling and testing services (VCT) at a district level in Kenya.
A mixed method study was conducted employing a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods concurrently. The questionnaire proposed by WHO was administered to 328 VCT users and 36 VCT counsellors (health providers). In addition to the questionnaire, qualitative interviews were carried out among a total of 300 participants. Observational field notes were also written.
A majority of the health providers and users indicated that the responsiveness elements were very important, e.g. confidentiality and autonomy were regarded by most users and health providers as very important and were also reported as being highly observed in the VCT room. However, the qualitative findings revealed other important aspects related to confidentiality, autonomy and other responsiveness elements that were not captured by the WHO tool. Striking examples were inappropriate location of the VCT centre, limited information provided, language problems, and concern about the quality of counselling.
The results indicate that the WHO developed responsiveness elements are relevant and important in measuring the performance of voluntary HIV counselling and testing. However, the tool needs substantial revision in order to capture other important dimensions or perspectives. The findings also confirm the importance of careful assessment and recognition of locally specific aspects when conducting comparative studies on responsiveness of HIV testing services.
Objective To examine users' attitudes to implementation of an electronic medical record system in Kaiser Permanente Hawaii.
Design Qualitative study based on semistructured interviews.
Setting Four primary healthcare teams in four clinics, and four specialty departments in one hospital, on Oahu, Hawaii. Shortly before the interviews, Kaiser Permanente stopped implementation of the initial system in favour of a competing one.
Participants Twenty six senior clinicians, managers, and project team members.
Results Seven key findings emerged: users perceived the decision to adopt the electronic medical record system as flawed; software design problems increased resistance; the system reduced doctors' productivity, especially during initial implementation, which fuelled resistance; the system required clarification of clinical roles and responsibilities, which was traumatic for some individuals; a cooperative culture created trade-offs at varying points in the implementation; no single leadership style was optimal—a participatory, consensus-building style may lead to more effective adoption decisions, whereas decisive leadership could help resolve barriers and resistance during implementation; the process fostered a counter climate of conflict, which was resolved by withdrawal of the initial system.
Conclusions Implementation involved several critical components, including perceptions of the system selection, early testing, adaptation of the system to the larger organisation, and adaptation of the organisation to the new electronic environment. Throughout, organisational factors such as leadership, culture, and professional ideals played complex roles, each facilitating and hindering implementation at various points. A transient climate of conflict was associated with adoption of the system.
In many countries, the responsibility for planning and delivery of health services is devolved to the subnational level. Health programs, however, often fall short of efficient use of data to inform decisions. As a result, programs are not as effective as they can be at meeting the health needs of the populations they serve. In Kenya, a decision-support tool, the District Health Profile (DHP) tool was developed to integrate data from health programs, primarily HIV, at the district level and to enable district health management teams to review and monitor program progress for specific health issues to make informed service delivery decisions.
Thirteen in-depth interviews were conducted with ten tool users and three non-users in six districts to qualitatively assess the process of implementing the tool and its effect on data-informed decision making at the district level. The factors that affected use or non-use of the tool were also investigated. Respondents were selected via convenience sample from among those that had been trained to use the DHP tool except for one user who was self-taught to use the tool. Selection criteria also included respondents from urban districts with significant resources as well as respondents from more remote, under-resourced districts.
Findings from the in-depth interviews suggest that among those who used it, the DHP tool had a positive effect on data analysis, review, interpretation, and sharing at the district level. The automated function of the tool allowed for faster data sharing and immediate observation of trends that facilitated data-informed decision making. All respondents stated that the DHP tool assisted them to better target existing services in need of improvement and to plan future services, thus positively influencing program improvement.
This paper stresses the central role that a targeted decision-support tool can play in making data aggregation, analysis, and presentation easier and faster. The visual synthesis of data facilitates the use of information in health decision making at the district level of a health system and promotes program improvement. The experience in Kenya can be applied to other countries that face challenges making district-level, data-informed decisions with data from fragmented information systems.
Data-informed decision making; Data dashboards; Data use; Decision-support tools; District level; Health information systems; Health systems strengthening
Although evidence-based guidelines are important for improving the quality of patient care, implementation in practice is below expectations. With the recent focus on team care, guidelines are intended to promote the integration of care across multiple disciplines. We conducted an exploratory study to understand oncology nurses' perceptions of guideline implementation and to learn their views on how their experiences affected the implementation.
A qualitative study was used with focus group interviews. We collected data from 11 nurses with more than 5 years of oncology nursing experience in Japan. The data were analyzed using grounded theory.
Results of the analysis identified "preconditions for successful guideline implementation" as a core category. There were 4 categories (goal congruence, equal partnership, professional self-development and user-friendliness) and 11 subcategories related to organizational, multidisciplinary, individual, and guideline levels.
Although the guidelines were viewed as important, they were not fully implemented in practice. There are preconditions at the organizational, multidisciplinary, individual, and guideline levels that must be met if an organization is to successfully implement the guideline in clinical settings. Prioritizing strategies by focusing on these preconditions will help to facilitate successful guideline implementation.
The MEDICOM (Medical Products Electronic Commerce) Portal provides the electronic means for medical-equipment manufacturers to communicate online with their customers while supporting the Purchasing Process and Post Market Surveillance. The Portal offers a powerful Internet-based search tool for finding medical products and manufacturers. Its main advantage is the fast, reliable and up-to-date retrieval of information while eliminating all unrelated content that a general-purpose search engine would retrieve. The Universal Medical Device Nomenclature System (UMDNS) registers all products. The Portal accepts end-user requests and generates a list of results containing text descriptions of devices, UMDNS attribute values, and links to manufacturer Web pages and online catalogues for access to more-detailed information. Device short descriptions are provided by the corresponding manufacturer. The Portal offers technical support for integration of the manufacturers' Web sites with itself. The network of the Portal and the connected manufacturers' sites is called the MEDICOM system.
To establish an environment hosting all the interactions of consumers (health care organizations and professionals) and providers (manufacturers, distributors, and resellers of medical devices).
A representative group of users evaluated the system. The aim of the evaluation was validation of the usability of all of MEDICOM's functionality. The evaluation procedure was based on ISO/IEC 9126 Information technology - Software product evaluation - Quality characteristics and guidelines for their use.
The overall user evaluation of the MEDICOM system was very positive. The MEDICOM system was characterized as an innovative concept that brings significant added value to medical-equipment commerce.
The eventual benefits of the MEDICOM system are (a) establishment of a worldwide-accessible marketplace between manufacturers and health care professionals that provides up-to-date and high-quality product information in an easy and friendly way and (b) enhancement of the efficiency of marketing procedures and after-sales support.
Electronic commerce, medical devices, equipment and supplies, Internet, CORBA, XML, RDBMS
An evaluation of an Integrated Care approach with the aim of exploring the components of the service which contributed to its functioning.
There is growing recognition internationally that conventional approaches to the management of chronic illness are not adequately meeting the needs of people with such conditions. This concern is also shared in Ireland and a pilot programme to provide an alternative community based approach was established in Callan, Co. Kilkennny, Ireland for such service users in 2003.
The study was based on a pluralistic design. A mixed methods approach was adopted, relying primarily on focus groups and semi-structured interviews. All key stakeholders were included in the data collection, including members of the multidisciplinary team; members of the ‘governance group’ of the service; ‘service users’, ‘concerned persons’ as well as referring agents. Data analysis was informed by Burnard's Framework
Results and conclusions
An emergent model of service provision for people with chronic illness is presented. The model suggests that all stakeholders base their perceptions of services on prior experiences. These comparative experiences contribute to the generation and maintenance of their own expectancies. In terms of new services these expectancies are met, exceeded or indeed not met, but are always a point of reference for stakeholders. These expectancies form an underpinning context for the therapeutic experiences encountered within the service. Likewise, the ethos of a service underpins the therapeutic approach and outcomes of a service. Both of these pre-requisites contribute to the therapeutic milieu. All in combination contribute to the effectiveness of the service. The service users are central to the model, within the context of a partnership approach cognisant of community needs, the contribution of service providers and the policy context.
chronic diseases; qualitative research; Ireland
This literature review was conducted to provide a background understanding of the literature around integrated health and social care prior to a research project evaluating two integrated health and social care teams in England, UK.
A systematic literature search of relevant databases was employed to identify all articles relating to integrated health and social care teams produced in the last 10 years in the UK.
Sixteen articles were found and reviewed; all were reviewed by the first reviewer and half by the second reviewer.
Key themes identified were: drivers, barriers and benefits of integrated working; staff development; and meeting the needs of service users.
Recommendations for integrated working include; a focus on the management of integrated teams; a need to invest in resources for the successful integration of teams; a need for the development of clear standards for monitoring the success and failure of integrated teams; and the need for further empirical evidence of the processes used by integrated teams. These findings will be valuable for practitioners who are establishing services or want to improve integrated care in their own practice.
integrated; health; social; care; inter-disciplinary; service user; needs
The role of usability testing in the evaluation of an electronic health record system could improve chances that the design is integrated with existing workflow and business processes in a clear, efficient way.
An oncology electronic health record (EHR) was implemented without prior usability testing. Before expanding the system to new clinics, this study was initiated to examine the role of usability testing in the evaluation of an EHR product and whether novice users could identify issues with usability that resonated with more experienced users of the system. In addition, our study evaluated whether usability issues with an already implemented system affect efficiency and satisfaction of users.
A general usability guide was developed by a group of five informaticists. Using this guide, four novice users evaluated an EHR product and identified issues. A panel of five experts reviewed the identified issues to determine agreement with and applicability to the already implemented system. A survey of 42 experienced users of the previously implemented EHR was also performed to assess efficiency and general satisfaction.
The novice users identified 110 usability issues. Our expert panel agreed with 90% of the issues and recommendations for correction identified by the novice users. Our survey had a 54% response rate. The majority of the experienced users of the previously implemented system, which did not benefit from upfront usability testing, had a high degree of dissatisfaction with efficiency and general functionality but higher overall satisfaction than expected.
In addition to reviewing features and content of an EHR system, usability testing could improve the chances that the EHR design is integrated with existing workflow and business processes in a clear and efficient way.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the existing theoretical and empirical literature examining the link between "local production" of pharmaceuticals and medical devices and increased local access to these products. Our preliminary hypothesis is that studies showing a robust relationship between local production and access to medical products are sparse, at best.
Methods: An extensive literature search was conducted using a wide variety of databases and search terms intending to capture as many different aspects of this issue as possible. The results of the search were reviewed and categorized according to their relevance to the research question. The literature was also reviewed to determine the rigor used to examine the effects of local production and what implications these experiences hold for other developing countries.
Results: Literature addressing the benefits of local production and the link between it and access to medical products is sparse, mainly descriptive and lacking empirical evidence. Of the literature we reviewed that addressed comparative economics and strategic planning of multinational and domestic firms, there are few dealing with emerging markets and lower-middle income countries and even fewer that compare local biomedical producers with multinational corporations in terms of a reasonable metric. What comparisons exist mainly relate to prices of local versus foreign/multinational produced medicines.
Conclusions: An assessment of the existing theoretical and empirical literature examining the link between "local production" of pharmaceuticals and medical devices and increased local access to these products reveals a paucity of literature explicitly dealing with this issue. Of the literature that does exist, methods used to date are insufficient to prove a robust relationship between local production of medical products and access to these products. There are mixed messages from various studies, and although the studies may correctly depict specific situations in specific countries with reference to specific products, such evidence cannot be generalized. Our review strongly supports the need for further research in understanding the dynamic link between local production and access to medical products
Pharmaceutical Policy; Industrial Policy; Access to Medicines; Pharmaceuticals
Integrative medicine (IM), a combination of conventional and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), has become a popular source of medical care, yet little is known about its use.
To identify the motivations of people who choose IM for their primary care needs.
Qualitative study from focus group data of regular users of IM.
Six focus groups that include a total of 37 regular users of IM who consented to participate in a study of IM use.
Focus group meetings were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative analysis using grounded theory was used to derive the motivations for use of IM.
Participants beliefs include the following: the combination of CAM and conventional medicine is better than either alone; health is a combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual well being; nutrition and lifestyle play a role in wellness; and pharmaceuticals should be avoided except as a last resort. Participants suffer from health problems that are not well treated by conventional medicine. Participants want to discuss CAM with physicians and obtain guidance on its use. Participants want time with their providers, to feel listened to and to have the opportunity for shared decision-making.
Much of what patients are seeking in integrative medical care is likely universally shared: a strong therapeutic relationship with providers who listen and provide time and knowledgeable advice. Users believe a combined approach of CAM and conventional medicine is better than either alone and want to be able to discuss CAM use with their providers.
CAM; integrative medicine; patient satisfaction; therapeutic encounter