User Testing an Information Foraging Tool for Ambulatory Surgical Site Infection Surveillance.

TitleUser Testing an Information Foraging Tool for Ambulatory Surgical Site Infection Surveillance.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsKaravite DJ, Miller MW, Ramos MJ, Rettig SL, Ross RK, Xiao R, Muthu N, A Localio R, Gerber JS, Coffin SE, Grundmeier RW
JournalAppl Clin Inform
Date Published2018 Oct

BACKGROUND:  Surveillance for surgical site infections (SSIs) after ambulatory surgery in children requires a detailed manual chart review to assess criteria defined by the National Health and Safety Network (NHSN). Electronic health records (EHRs) impose an inefficient search process where infection preventionists must manually review every postsurgical encounter (< 30 days). Using text mining and business intelligence software, we developed an information foraging application, the SSI Workbench, to visually present which postsurgical encounters included SSI-related terms and synonyms, antibiotic, and culture orders.

OBJECTIVE:  This article compares the Workbench and EHR on four dimensions: (1) effectiveness, (2) efficiency, (3) workload, and (4) usability.

METHODS:  Comparative usability test of Workbench and EHR. Objective test metrics are time per case, encounters reviewed per case, time per encounter, and retrieval of information meeting NHSN definitions. Subjective measures are cognitive load using the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Task Load Index (NASA TLX), and a questionnaire on system usability and utility.

RESULTS:  Eight infection preventionists participated in the test. There was no difference in effectiveness as subjects retrieved information from all cases, using both systems, to meet the NHSN criteria. There was no difference in efficiency in time per case between the Workbench and EHR (8.58 vs. 7.39 minutes,  = 0.36). However, with the Workbench subjects opened fewer encounters per case (3.0 vs. 7.5,  = 0.002), spent more time per encounter (2.23 vs. 0.92 minutes,  = 0.002), rated the Workbench lower in cognitive load (NASA TLX, 24 vs. 33,  = 0.02), and significantly higher in measures of usability.

CONCLUSION:  Compared with the EHR, the Workbench was more usable, short, and reduced cognitive load. In overall efficiency, the Workbench did not save time, but demonstrated a shift from between-encounter foraging to within-encounter foraging and was rated as significantly more efficient. Our results suggest that infection surveillance can be better supported by systems applying information foraging theory.

Alternate JournalAppl Clin Inform
PubMed ID30357777
PubMed Central IDPMC6200553