Informatics Research Seminar: Ensuring the Usability and Safety of Healthcare Information Systems–From Laboratory Testing to Naturalistic Studies

March 17 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Andre Kushniruk, PhD
Presented from Duke University



 In this seminar Dr. Andre Kushniruk will describe methods we have developed for assessing the usability and safety of health information systems and for evaluating the impact of systems on healthcare work. The discussion will draw on examples from the evaluation of a number of health applications, ranging from electronic patient record systems to medication order entry. The approaches described will be considered along a continuum ranging from laboratory-based usability testing to naturalistic study of system use. An integrated framework will be discussed for conducting evaluations of information systems which borrows from advances a number of fields, including cognitive, information and computer science, as well as the emerging field of usability engineering. Application of video analysis for assessing human-computer interaction in health care settings will be illustrated along with recent work in developing methods for the evaluation of Web-based information resources. The focus of the research is on improving our understanding of the cognitive processes involved in using advanced technology in order to improve system usability and enhance patient and healthcare workers’ understanding and decision making. Implications will be discussed in the context of the iterative development of more effective and safer systems.



Dr. Andre Kushniruk is a Professor of the School of Health Information Science at the University of Victoria. Dr. Kushniruk is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York and was previously an Associate Professor in Information Technology at York University. Dr. Kushniruk conducts research in a number of areas including evaluation of the effects of technology, human-computer interaction in health care and other domains as well as cognitive science. His work is known internationally and he has published widely in the area of health informatics. He focuses on developing new methods for the evaluation of information technology and studying human-computer interaction in health care and he has been a key researcher on a number of national and international collaborative projects. His work includes the development of novel methods for conducting video analysis of computer users and he is currently extending this research to remote study of e-health applications and advanced information technologies, including computerized patient record systems. Dr. Kushniruk has held academic positions at a number of Canadian universities and he has taught courses in areas such as human-computer interaction, database management and systems analysis and design. He holds undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Biology, as well as a M.Sc. in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from McGill University.

Current Research Interests:

– Evaluation of the use and usability of information systems;
– Design and evaluation methodologies;
– e-Health and telemedicine;
– Consumer informatics;
– Cognitive aspects of decision support systems;
– Data mining in health informatics;
– Computerized patient record systems;
– Intelligent information filtering;
– Usability engineering;
– Knowledge representation;
– Design of health care user interfaces and human-computer interaction in complex domains.