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Heuristic evaluation performed by usability-educated clinicians: education and attitudes.

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Centre for eHealth, Uppsala University, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.


Heuristic evaluation is a usability testing method aiming to improve the user interface design. Traditionally, a panel of experts in usability and human factor issues evaluate and judge the compliance of computer software according to recognized usability principles, the heuristics. In this paper, we investigate clinicians' attitudes towards learning and performing a heuristic evaluation and present the procedure of educating the healthcare staff and their accomplishment of the evaluation. 18 clinicians were recruited for a 2-hours education and filled in a post-education questionnaire regarding their opinions of the evaluation method when applied by clinicians. Six of the clinicians participated later in a heuristic evaluation of a web-based virtual health record,Their time spent for evaluation and analysis of results was approximately four hours each. Opinions from the six "clinical evaluators" were gathered in an post-evaluation form and compared to the post-education questionnaire. The results of 18 clinicians indicate that there is an interest in learning and participating in such evaluations. Our interpretation is that it is feasible to educate healthcare staff to perform rapid usability inspections to locate usability defects and additionally emphasize the domain specific problems residing in health information systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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