Informatics Research Seminar: Applying human factors methods to health informatics design and evaluation

March 18 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Nora Segall, PhD


The development of health information systems should take into account not only the hardware and software involved, but also the context in which they will be used. Sociotechnical factors such as task characteristics, workflow, system usability, and team communication can impact the usage of an application in unexpected ways and determine its success or failure. Incorporating human factors methods in different stages of the design process can improve the final product by considering system users, their capabilities and limitations, and environmental constraints. Dr. Segall will present several such tools and examples of their implementation in healthcare.

Noa Segall, PhD, is an assistant professor in Duke’s department of anesthesiology and a human factors engineer at the Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center. She has experience in a broad range of human factors methods, including task analysis and interface design and evaluation, and has applied them to many healthcare applications and processes. Applied projects she has worked on include a usability inspection of specimen labeling software; analysis of issues underlying an emergency department-lab specimen management process; and pharmacy consults with respect to changes in medication mixing practices, workspace layouts, and drug labeling. Dr. Segall recently completed her dissertation on a project that involved the development and evaluation of a decision support tool for anesthesia provider management of perioperative myocardial ischemia and infarction. Her research interests include human performance in medical systems, health information technology design, and the use of technology in care provider training and assessment.