Journal Article

Optimization of a Research Web Environment for Academic Internal Medicine Faculty

Peter L. Elkin, Barb Sorensen, Diane De Palo, Greg Poland, Kent R. Bailey, Douglas L. Wood and Nicholas F. LaRusso

in Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association

Volume 9, issue 5, pages 472-478
Published in print September 2002 | ISSN: 1067-5027
Published online September 2002 | e-ISSN: 1527-974X | DOI:
Optimization of a Research Web Environment for Academic Internal Medicine Faculty

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Usability evaluations are a powerful tool that can assist developers in their efforts to optimize the quality of their web environment. This underutilized, experimental method can serve to move applications toward true user-centered design. This article describes the usability methodology and illustrates its importance and application by describing a usability study undertaken at the Mayo Clinic for the purpose of improving an academic research web environment. Academic institutions struggling in an era of declining reimbursements are finding it difficult to maintain academic enterprises on the back of clinical revenues. This may result in declining amounts of time that clinical investigators have to spend in non–patient-related activities. For this reason, we have undertaken to design a web environment, which can minimize the time that a clinician-investigator needs to spend to accomplish academic instrumental activities of daily living. Usability evaluation is a powerful application of human factors engineering, which can improve the utility of web-based Informatics applications.

Journal Article.  3071 words.  Illustrated.

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