Use of clinical simulation in the design and evaluation of eHealth systems and applications has increased during the last decade. This paper describes a methodological approach for using clinical simulations in the design and evaluation of clinical information systems. The method is based on experiences from more than 20 clinical simulation studies conducted at the ITX-lab in the Capital Region of Denmark during the last 5 years. A ten-step approach to conducting simulations is presented in this paper. To illustrate the approach, a clinical simulation study concerning implementation of Digital Clinical Practice Guidelines in a prototype planning and coordination module is presented. In the case study potential benefits were assessed in a full-scale simulation test including 18 health care professionals. The results showed that health care professionals can benefit from such a module. Unintended consequences concerning terminology and changes in the division of responsibility amongst healthcare professionals were also identified, and questions were raised concerning future workflow across sector borders. Furthermore unexpected new possible benefits concerning improved communication, content of information in discharge letters and quality management emerged during the testing. In addition new potential groups of users were identified. The case study is used to demonstrate the potential of using the clinical simulation approach described in the paper.
To collect and critically review patient safety initiatives for health information technology (HIT).
Publicly promulgated set of advisories, recommendations, guidelines, or standards potentially addressing safe system design, build, implementation or use were identified by searching the websites of regional and national agencies and programmes in a non-exhaustive set of exemplar countries including England, Denmark, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada and Australia. Initiatives were categorised by type and software systems covered.
We found 27 patient safety initiatives for HIT predominantly dealing with software systems for health professionals. Three initiatives addressed consumer systems. Seven of the initiatives specifically dealt with software for diagnosis and treatment, which are regulated as medical devices in England, Denmark and Canada. Four initiatives dealt with blood bank and image management software which is regulated in the USA. Of the 16 initiatives directed at unregulated software, 11 were aimed at increasing standardisation using guidelines and standards for safe system design, build, implementation and use. Three initiatives for unregulated software were aimed at certification in the USA, Canada and Australia. Safety is addressed alongside interoperability in the Australian certification programme but it is not explicitly addressed in the US and Canadian programmes, though conformance with specific functionality, interoperability, security and privacy requirements may lead to safer systems. England appears to have the most comprehensive safety management programme for unregulated software, incorporating safety assurance at a local healthcare organisation level based on standards for risk management and user interface design, with national incident monitoring and a response function.
There are significant gaps in the safety initiatives for HIT systems. Current initiatives are largely focussed on software. With the exception of diagnostic, prognostic, monitoring and treatment software, which are subject to medical device regulations in some countries, the safety of the most common types of HIT systems such as EHRs and CPOE without decision support is not being explicitly addressed in most nations. Appropriate mechanisms for safety assurance are required for the full range of HIT systems for health professionals and consumers including all software and hardware throughout the system lifecycle. In addition to greater standardisation and oversight to ensure safe system design and build, appropriate implementation and use of HIT is critical to ensure patient safety.
Internationally, the adoption of health information technology is increasing. However, a number of issues have complicated the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). In addition to adoption issues, it is becoming increasingly recognized that healthcare providers face a variety of usability issues. In this paper, we consider approaches that have been taken to assess both adoption and usability of EHRs in Canada, Denmark and Finland. Although all three countries deploy surveys to assess adoption, the approach and focus of the surveys differs across the countries. In Denmark and Finland, these surveys are dedicated to assessing information technology (IT) usage; while in Canada, questions about IT usage are part of a larger physician survey. Regarding usability, approaches vary considerably. In Finland, the approach includes a national survey about EHR usability. In Canada, ratings of system usability are reported regionally on web sites; while in Denmark, regional study results are reported based on evaluation of commercial products. This paper highlights the need to consider different evaluation approaches internationally.
Many people around the world use prescription medications. Consumers often require information about their medications to support taking them safely and effectively. One source of such information is Consumer Medication Information (CMI). Canadians typically receive printed CMI when a new prescription is filled whereas Danes have the online resource min.medicin.dk. This study compared the content and design of Danish and Canadian CMI. Danish CMI satisfied seven of the 11 content utility criteria (developed in previous work) identified as supporting the safe and effective medication use. However, Danish CMI provided a more information about how frequently possible side effects occur and multimedia (e.g., images, videos) directions for some medications. This study examined some of the similarities and differences between how Canadians and Danes are informed about medications. However, further research is required to determine what content and methods of delivery are most beneficial in supporting safe and effective medication use.
Adverse event reporting is a frequently used mechanism to establish a learning cycle to avoid future errors. However a precondition is that the potential - as well as the occurred adverse events is reported. This study explores two comparable internal medicine departments to find possible explanations on a differing frequency of adverse event reporting. Ethnographic methods - observation and interviews - are applied to collect data. The analysis reveals specific, but common ways of doing task prioritization and rating of adverse event severity. The interpesonal relationships, however, show significant differences in the two departments and can be the most plausible explanation of the difference in adverse event reporting.
Over the past years researchers at Aalborg University have been developing a method for examining change readiness of hospital staff during the implementation of new IT-systems. (CRR; Change readiness-research). The aim is to provide the hospital-management with a tool that will lead to an optimal implementation of new IT-systems. The method has recently been used in department Y at Skejby Hospital, Skejby, Denmark. 81% out of 241 employees answered the distributed questionnaire, and the results showed, that the employees have some expectations to the new EHR-system, which are important to either confirm or reject; on the other hand a great part of the employees lack basic computer skills. Thus the CRR-method has provided the Organization with important information before the implementation of the new EHR-system.
In order to realise the potential benefits of eHealth, governments develop eHealth policies to define and prioritise initiatives, the strategic goals and the resulting benefits. During the 23 years with eHealth policies in Denmark only a few status reports with a systematic and transparent evaluation have been made. This paper advocates a more systematic approach to strategic planning of development and implementation of eHealth systems, by encouraging the concept of evidence-based policy making through analysis of how focus of the Danish eHealth policies have evolved. The Danish eHealth policies have very different framings following the different focus points for the policies. Interestingly, strategies for evaluating the devolopment of eHealth and eHealth policies were very sparcely noted in the policies. For the first time the de-emphasising of evaluations of eHealth policies in Denmark has been empirically demonstrated, thus undermining the objective of obtaining evidence-based eHealth policies.
In today's short stay hospital settings the contact time for patients is reduced. However, it seems to be more important for the patients that the healthcare professionals are easy to get in contact with during the whole course of treatment, and to have the opportunity to exchange information, as a basis for obtaining individualized information and support. Therefore, the aim was to explore the ability of a dialogue-based application to contribute to accessibility of the healthcare professionals and exchangeability of information.
An application for online written and asynchronous contacts was developed, implemented in clinical practice, and evaluated. The qualitative effect of the online contact was explored using a Web-based survey comprised of open-ended questions.
Patients valued the online contacts and experienced feelings of partnership in dialogue, in a flexible and calm environment, which supported their ability to be active partners and feelings of freedom and security.
The online asynchronous written environment can contribute to accessibility and exchangeability, and add new possibilities for dialogues from which the patients can benefit. The individualized information obtained via online contact empowers the patients. The Internet-based contacts are a way to differentiate and expand the possibilities for contacts outside the few scheduled face-to-face hospital contacts.
Cites: Ugeskr Laeger. 2001 Jan 22;163(4):420-411218776
According to the literature, Denmark has a leading position in the dissemination and use of health informatics. However, there is a lack of systematically collected and documented experience of telemedicine solutions in Denmark. This evidence is being established with a new project, which maps out all telemedicine initiatives in Denmark. Data on all the initiatives is collected in a single database and some of the data is analyzed in this paper. It is shown that there are a very large number of telemedicine initiatives in Denmark and that the elements from the national strategy for telemedicine are clearly visible in the telemedicine map. The very large number of projects could, however, also indicate a lack of national coordination of initiatives and a need for evaluation activities to systematically collect and communicate the learning outcomes from all the new projects.
Tele-technology in the health care system is prognosed to be able to produce better health, better care at lower cost (Triple aim). This paper will discuss the validity of this prognosis, which in many ways is considered as some sort of diagnosis of the conditions concerning triple aim in relation to Tele-technology. Tele-technology in the health care system covers three different types of technological settings: telecare, telehealth and telemedicine. This paper will disclose the different meanings of telecare, telehealth and telemedicine and discusses how nursing informatics can accomplish and gain from this disclosure. Theoretically and methodologically the paper is based on post-phenomenological readings and reflections, where use, practice, users, participants, values and knowledge systems are addressed on an equal level in order to understand technology and how we act appropriately through and with technology.