Virtual Family-Centered Rounds During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Technology Usability Analysis


Family-centered rounds (FCR) are multidisciplinary rounds, involving patients and caregivers with the aim of shared decision making in medical care planning. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a tertiary care pediatric hospital re-engineered the in-person FCR process used by inpatient Pediatric Medicine teams implemented virtual family-centered rounds (vFCR). As part of a mixed methods study evaluating vFCR, naturalistic observation was used to evaluate the usability of vFCR technology. Functional and user requirements were assessed and confirmed through observation of interactions with technology intended to support vFCR. The duration of individual patient rounds and transition time between patients was also captured. Technology interactions were assessed in terms of what worked (successful interactions) and what did not work (usability issues and errors). Neilsen and Norman’s (1994) usability heuristics were used to support the evaluation and explanation of findings. While naturalistic observation yielded clear results in terms of effectiveness and efficiency, user satisfaction was not formally examined. The identified usability requirements and key characteristics for ease of use and adoption of vFCR identified in this study can be used by other hospitals looking to implement or improve inpatient virtual care technology usability.
Areas of Research: Hospital Paediatrics, Virtual Care, Technology Evaluation

Lead Researchers

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  1. Melanie Buba

    Investigator, CHEO Research Institute

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