Statue listening

Developers Need to Listen to the Users

STRIA was presented in Dagens Medicin the other week. This blog post is an edited translation of the Swedish article

IT-systems that do not talk to each other make the nursing staff tired in their heads. The researcher Åsa Cajander hopes that a new project will teach the developers to listen to the users.

For three years, Åsa Cajander, Marta Larusdottir and a Post Doc from Uppsala University will look more closely at how the digital work environment in care and administration can be improved.

– I have been researching the health care IT system for ten years and there are a lot of worries today that you have to try to get rid of, says Åsa Cajander.

It is, for example, about having many different systems that do not talk to each other and that one has to move information between different systems. It provides a fragmented work environment that creates a cognitive load.

– You get tired when you don’t have an IT system that supports one in the way it is supposed to, says Åsa Cajander.

One reason is that those who build the IT systems think too little about the consequences of the new technology for the work environment.

– For example, nurses have a job where they move a lot and run around. But the systems do not support this type of work at all, but it is stationary computers that are in part of the premises, says Åsa Cajander.

She is a professor of human-computer interaction at Uppsala University. Now she has received SEK 3.7 million from Afa Försäkring for a research project aimed at the system developers.

– Today, there are far too many IT projects that do not talk to those who will use the system when designing the system. System developers are often very interested in technology for the sake of technology. Knowledge of how people think and are not included to a sufficient extent in their education, says Åsa Cajander.

During the first year of the project, the researchers will look at how the latest technology, for example, artificial intelligence, AI, and robotization affect the working environment in healthcare. Among other things, this will take place within the healthcare sector in Region Uppsala.

During the following year, methods will be developed, in collaboration with the system developers, for how to work in IT projects to build systems that create a good working environment.

The third year, these methods will result in a training material that the organization Prevent will make available to interested system developers.

– The healthcare IT system needs to be improved and I think everyone agrees. I hope that I can contribute with a push in the right direction, says Åsa Cajander.

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