Rose Campbell


May 2005

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology


Oregon Health & Science University


Purpose: To compare several bedside information tools using user-centered taskoriented measures in order to assist those making or supporting purchasing decisions. Methods: Eighteen users were asked to attempt to answer clinical questions using a variety of products. Users evaluated each tool for ease-of-use and user satisfaction. The average number of questions answered, time spent searching and user satisfaction were measured for each product. A follow-up interview qualitatively captured users' experiences with these bedside information tools. This user-based information was combined with information gathered from direct examination, such as currency, coverage and subscription information. Results: Results show no significant differences in the time spent searching or in user perceptions of content. However, user interaction measures show a significant preference for the UpToDate product. In addition, users found answers to significantly more questions using UpToDate. Qualitative data reveal that the simplicity of the search screens and the clear subdivision of topics were major reasons for the preference for UpToDate. Conclusion: When evaluating electronic products designed for use at the point of care, the user interaction aspects of a product become as important as more traditional content-based measures of quality. Actual or potential users of such products are in the best position to identify which products rate the highest on these measures. In may not be as difficult to engage users for this type of evaluation as is imagined.




School of Medicine



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