Pharmacy Handoff Study
Community-based pharmacists are confronted with problems in information sharing during handoffs. As their computer systems provide little support in this process, informal handoffs (e.g. hand-written notes) become widely used. Issues such as poor handwriting and insufficient information come up everyday. As a result, errors, delays in medication distribution, and system-wide disorganization occurs.
To build a more efficient way to exchange information between shifts of pharmaceutical staff.
What are the facilitators and barriers to the handoff process in the pharmacy work system?
How could the barriers be addressed by a supporting interface?
Observations with informal interviews; contextual design.
Models of facilitators and barriers to the handoff process;
A prototype of Handoff Helper (iPad App).
Observations & Insights
Information needs to be shared during pharmacist handoff are complex
There lacks a standardized way of sharing information
Many barriers including time pressure, fatigue and limited working memory can further hamper this process
40+ years old
Works three-and-a half 8-hour days a week
Enjoy interacting with customers, and sometimes goes out of his way to help customers of need
Somehow tech savvy but tired of the pharmacy computer system
22 years old
Works five 8-hour days a week (full-time)
Has very limited amount of knowledge of medications, so have to work under the supervision of the pharmacist
User Environment design
The chart below shows the UE design - the purposes, functions, objects on each page as well as the links between pages:
How the Final Design Solves our Central Findings:
The electronic-based handoff solves the poor handwriting issue
Ipad follows workflow: employees moving around a lot
All handoffs are located in one place
Handoffs are assigned to work roles