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Heuristic evaluation of clinical functions in four practice management systems: A pilot study

Thyvalikakath, TP and Schleyer, TKL and Monaco, V (2007) Heuristic evaluation of clinical functions in four practice management systems: A pilot study. Journal of the American Dental Association, 138 (2). 209 - 218. ISSN 0002-8177

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Background. Dentists report that the complexity and poor usability of practice management systems (PMSs) are factors in the slow adoption of computers at chairside. Methods. Three dental informatics researchers performed heuristic evaluations of four PMSs to identify potential usability problems that may be encountered during the clinical care process. Each researcher performed three common clinical documentation tasks on each PMS and examined the clinical user interface of each system using a published list of 10 software heuristics. An observer recorded all findings, summarized the results and totaled the heuristic violations across all programs. Results. The authors found 229 heuristic violations. Consistency and Standards, Match Between System and the Real World, and Error Prevention were the heuristics that were violated most commonly. The patterns of heuristic violations across software packages were relatively similar. Conclusions. The findings provide an initial assessment of potential usability problems in four PMSs. The identified violations highlight aspects of dental software that may present the most significant problems to users. Clinical Implications. Heuristic violations in PMSs may result in usability problems for dentists and other office personnel, reducing efficiency and effectiveness of a software implementation. Vendors should consider applying user-centered design methodologies to reduce the number of potential usability problems.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Thyvalikakath, TPtpt1@pitt.eduTPT1
Schleyer, TKLtitus@pitt.eduTITUS0000-0003-1829-971X
Monaco, V
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Center for Dental Informatics
Date: 1 January 2007
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of the American Dental Association
Volume: 138
Number: 2
Page Range: 209 - 218
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.14219/jada.archive.2007.0138
Schools and Programs: School of Dental Medicine > Dental Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0002-8177
MeSH Headings: Computer Systems; Decision Support Systems, Management; Dental Informatics; Humans; Man-Machine Systems; Pilot Projects; Practice Management, Dental; Software Validation; User-Computer Interface
PubMed ID: 17272376
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2012 20:55
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 07:55


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