Formative evaluation of a patient-specific clinical knowledge summarization tool

Guilherme Del Fiol*, Javed Mostafa, Dongqiuye Pu, Richard Medlin, Stacey Slager, Siddhartha R. Jonnalagadda, Charlene R. Weir

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Scopus citations


    Objective: To iteratively design a prototype of a computerized clinical knowledge summarization (CKS) tool aimed at helping clinicians finding answers to their clinical questions; and to conduct a formative assessment of the usability, usefulness, efficiency, and impact of the CKS prototype on physicians' perceived decision quality compared with standard search of UpToDate and PubMed. Materials and methods: Mixed-methods observations of the interactions of 10 physicians with the CKS prototype vs. standard search in an effort to solve clinical problems posed as case vignettes. Results: The CKS tool automatically summarizes patient-specific and actionable clinical recommendations from PubMed (high quality randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews) and UpToDate. Two thirds of the study participants completed 15 out of 17 usability tasks. The median time to task completion was less than 10 s for 12 of the 17 tasks. The difference in search time between the CKS and standard search was not significant (median = 4.9 vs. 4.5 min). Physician's perceived decision quality was significantly higher with the CKS than with manual search (mean = 16.6 vs 14.4; p= 0.036). Conclusions: The CKS prototype was well-accepted by physicians both in terms of usability and usefulness. Physicians perceived better decision quality with the CKS prototype compared to standard search of PubMed and UpToDate within a similar search time. Due to the formative nature of this study and a small sample size, conclusions regarding efficiency and efficacy are exploratory.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)126-134
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


    • Clinical decision support
    • Information needs
    • Information seeking and retrieval
    • Online information resources

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health Informatics


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