The Impact of Computing Device Design on Patient-Centered Communication: An Experimental Study

Date
2018-01-03
Authors
Randell, Rebecca
Tang, Charlotte
Chen, Yunan
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Abstract
Prior research has studied the impact of use of a single computing device, such as a desktop or a tablet computer, on patient-provider communication. While some studies have considered how contextual features such as room layout and software interface design affect computer use and patient-provider interaction in the exam room, it is not known how the choice of computing device impacts patient-provider communication. We conducted a within-participant experimental study. Three physicians participated in nine simulated consultations, using a desktop computer, a tablet computer, and a tabletop computer. Consultations were video-recorded and the video data were analyzed using framework analysis. Findings reveal the choice of device impacts the extent to which the consultation is patient-centered. To better support patient-centered communication, a large adjustable horizontal screen can facilitate eye contact and patient engagement. Findings also highlight the need for design of future systems to consider the characteristics of both openness and privacy.
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Health Technologies that Interface Patients and Providers, patient-physician communication, computing device, experiment
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