Evaluating the usability of Electronic Medication Management Systems (EMMS) during design and redesign: Time to consider new approaches
Title: Evaluating the usability of Electronic Medication Management Systems (EMMS) during design and redesign: Time to consider new approaches
Background: Electronic Medication Management Systems (EMMS) support the prescribing, review and administration of medications. Poor EMMS usability can result in inefficiencies and use errors which may lead to patient harm. The application of human factors methods can support the usable and safe design of EMMS.
Aims: To identify human factors methods that have been used to evaluate the usability of hospital EMMS during design or redesign.
Methods: A systematic review, following PRISMA guidelines, was conducted by searching online databases and relevant journals from January 2011 to May 2022. Studies were included if they described the application of human factors methods to evaluate the usability of EMMS during design or redesign.
Results: Nineteen papers met the inclusion criteria and these described 12 human factors methods to evaluate the usability of EMMS designs. The most frequently used were prototyping, usability testing, participant surveys/questionnaires and interviews. These generally aimed to identify usability issues, heuristic violations and design enhancements. Only one paper utilised a safety-oriented method and one, a mental workload assessment method.
Conclusions: While the review identified 12 methods used to evaluate the usability of EMMS designs, these reflect only a subset of available methods. Given the high-risk nature of medication management in complex hospital environments, and the potential for harm due to poorly designed EMMS, there is significant potential to apply methods that aim to identify safety-critical issues during usability evaluations.