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

Randell, Rebecca
Tang, Charlotte
Chen, Yunan
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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.
Health Technologies that Interface Patients and Providers, patient-physician communication, computing device, experiment
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