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Proc AMIA Symp. 2001:334-8.

Subjective assessment of usefulness and appropriate presentation mode of alerts and reminders in the outpatient setting.

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Department of Family Medicine, Kaiser Permanente, Portland, OR, USA.


There is very little known about the limits of alerting in the setting of the outpatient Electronic Medical Record (EMR). We are interested in how users value and prefer such alerts. One hundred Kaiser Permanente primary care clinicians were sent a four-page questionnaire. It contained questions related to the usability and usefulness of different approaches to presenting reminder and alert information. The survey also contained questions about the desirability of six categories of alerts. Forty-three of 100 questionnaires were returned. Users generally preferred an active, more intrusive interaction model for "alerts" and a passive, less intrusive model for order messages and other types of reminders and notifications. Drug related alerts were more highly rated than health maintenance or disease state reminders. Users indicated that more alerts would make the system "more useful" but "less easy to use".

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