Usability testing was used to evaluate whether a new technology, a digital pen and paper system, would be usable for hospital nurses. Twenty-one nurses in a Labor and Delivery unit were randomly assigned into two groups, and a crossover design was used to compare the digital pen and paper system to conventional pens. Data collection included observations, interviews, and a questionnaire. Results showed that nurses had a positive attitude toward the system and could foresee its potential benefits, but they found that in its current design the system had poor usability and interfered with nurses' work practices. Usability testing provided important insight into the needs of nurses and the suitability of this technology. This study is an example of how a user-centered approach can improve our understanding of the real needs of nurses and contribute to the design of useful and usable technologies for healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-848
Number of pages5
JournalAMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium
StatePublished - 2005


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