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Principal Investigator: Tosha Wetterneck, UW Medicine

PI Department:  Department of Family Medicine & Community Health

Summary of Study:An Industrial Engineering initiated project as follow up to SAFE-C concentrating on the cognitive workload of EMR use.

Objective:  The purpose of this project is to develop and test electronic health record (EHR) interface design requirements that support the cognitive work of primary care clinicians and their clinical teams.

The specific aims are

  • to identify the cognitive work requirements of primary care clinicians and teams, and
  • to develop and test specific EHR interface design requirements by performing usability testing of EHR prototypes with primary care clinicians.

Study Design:  We will be using a specific method of CTA, namely, goal directed task analysis (GDTA). GDTA is a type of cognitive task analysis specifically designed for determining cognitive work requirements in order to design information technologies (IT) that support these requirements. The goal of GDTA is to develop IT that provides high levels of situation awareness (SA) for users by giving them the information they need and having them input the right information. For EHRs used by primary care clinicians and clinician teams, this would mean having EHR interfaces that (1) request meaningful information for the clinicians to enter and (2) display the right information for clinicians to produce quick, accurate, and complete pictures of the patients (i.e., the EHR provides high Situational Awareness). What is specifically innovative about GDTA is that it (1) focuses on goals, not tasks, and (2) determines cognitive work requirements so that IT can be developed that supports and extends the cognitive work of the users. GDTA takes information learned from observations and interviews of workers to create cognitive maps of individual and teams of worker’s goals, decision-making and information needs to understand the work that occurs; essentially a non-linear representation of work that can be used to create information technology, in our case, electronic health records, that better supports the work to be done by individual clinicians and teams of clinicians.

DFMHC Clinic(s): DFM Clinics Choosing to Participate

DFMHC Contact:  Regina Vidaver 

Study Contact Person(s):
Amanda Hoffmann
WREN Regional Research Coordinator

Date of Approval: 6/1/15