BACKGROUND: Machine learning models can help anesthesiology clinicians assess patients and make clinical and operational decisions, but well-designed human-computer interfaces are necessary for machine learning model predictions to result in clinician actions that help patients. Therefore, the goal of this study was to apply a user-centered design framework to create a user interface for displaying machine learning model predictions of postoperative complications to anesthesiology clinicians. METHODS: Twenty-five anesthesiology clinicians (attending anesthesiologists, resident physicians, and certified registered nurse anesthetists) participated in a 3-phase study that included (phase 1) semistructured focus group interviews and a card sorting activity to characterize user workflows and needs; (phase 2) simulated patient evaluation incorporating a low-fidelity static prototype display interface followed by a semistructured interview; and (phase 3) simulated patient evaluation with concurrent think-aloud incorporating a high-fidelity prototype display interface in the electronic health record. In each phase, data analysis included open coding of session transcripts and thematic analysis. RESULTS: During the needs assessment phase (phase 1), participants voiced that (a) identifying preventable risk related to modifiable risk factors is more important than nonpreventable risk, (b) comprehensive patient evaluation follows a systematic approach that relies heavily on the electronic health record, and (c) an easy-to-use display interface should have a simple layout that uses color and graphs to minimize time and energy spent reading it. When performing simulations using the low-fidelity prototype (phase 2), participants reported that (a) the machine learning predictions helped them to evaluate patient risk, (b) additional information about how to act on the risk estimate would be useful, and (c) correctable problems related to textual content existed. When performing simulations using the high-fidelity prototype (phase 3), usability problems predominantly related to the presentation of information and functionality. Despite the usability problems, participants rated the system highly on the System Usability Scale (mean score, 82.5; standard deviation, 10.5). CONCLUSIONS: Incorporating user needs and preferences into the design of a machine learning dashboard results in a display interface that clinicians rate as highly usable. Because the system demonstrates usability, evaluation of the effects of implementation on both process and clinical outcomes is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)804-813
Number of pages10
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2024


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