Understanding HCI

Scenario Example 2

Writing & Transmitting A Prescription using a PDA

Please view the accompanying STORYBOARD when reading this scenario.

It is 2pm on Tuesday afternoon; Dr. Cameron has just completed her 4th patient check-up of the day and now wants to write a prescription for Charles Wilson, a 58-year-old male who regularly receives check-ups with Dr. Cameron in the hospital’s GI unit.

Normally, Dr Cameron would have a pen and clipboard close by her side to fill in all the check-up and prescription information manually. However, the medical professionals working in the GI Unit have recently started using PDA’s as means of improving the day to day operations in the unit and alleviating much of the paper based work that caused had previously caused so many problems.

Dr Cameron has only been using the PDA for 2 weeks but already feels extremely comfortable with the PDA and its ease of use. To create a patient prescription, she retrieves her PDA which is securely attached to her belt and inputs her password (Fig. 1) to gain access to her customised desktop. She then opens her “Patient Keeper” application (Fig. 2) and then searches for Mr Wilson through a simple drop down menu. The surname “Wilson” appears on the screen and she taps the “Submit Patient Name” button (Fig. 3). Three Mr Wilson’s appear on the screen displaying forename, date of birth and patient ID number. Dr Cameron selects “Charles Wilson” from the list and clicks on the “Open Patient Records” button (Fig. 4) to show Mr Wilson’s patient information (Fig. 5). As Mr Wilson is a regular patient with Dr Cameron, “Patient Keeper” has automatically saved a record of all Mr Wilson’s previous visits to the hospital, previous diagnosis and even his previous prescribed medications in a customised drugs list.

However, Dr. Cameron now wants to prescribe a new medication for Mr Wilson which she trusts will be of huge benefit in curing his problem. As the drug is new and will not be in Mr Wilson’s customised drug list, Dr Cameron now presses the “Write Prescription” button which opens the preconfigured drugs list through a simple pull down menu (Fig. 6) to select the new medication.

Using the medications list, Dr Cameron has decided that she will treat the patient's problem by prescribing an ultra-strong, Prevacid Propionate 30mg tablet. She searches for Prevacid by entering the first letter of the drug in the search screen. The drug list automatically scrolls to Prevacid Propionate. Dr Cameron selects the 30mg tablet on the drop down menu and taps on the “Select Medication” button to continue.

Tapping this button displays a screen for dosing duration (Fig. 7). Dosing duration can be in days, weeks or months. In Charles Wilson’s case, the duration is 28 days.

The next screen (Fig. 8) involves Dr Cameron entering the prescription amount, refills and designated pharmacy of collection. Dr Cameron asks Mr Wilson his preferred pick-up pharmacy and then selects this from her customised list. After tapping the highlighted pharmacy name, then selecting “Select Pharmacy” on the PDA screen, Charles Wilson’s prescription is complete, ready to be saved and then transmitted.

Dr Cameron then selects the “Post Prescription” button (Fig. 9) and the prescription now begins transmission through the wireless network to Mr Wilson’s pharmacy. A note appears on the PDA screen after 10 seconds stating “Prescription Post Successful” (Fig. 10).

Dr. Cameron then has the option to update Mr Wilson’s patient history (Fig. 10 & 11). She taps on “OK” and Mr Wilson’s records are successfully updated, saved and synchronised with the GI Unit’s patient database. Dr. Cameron then decides to print out a copy of the record update (Fig. 12 & 13) and also a copy of Mr Wilson’s invoice (Fig. 14 & 15)

The process of Dr Cameron writing and transmitting Charles Wilson’s prescription on her PDA may well sound drawn out, but realistically she completed the process within 20-30 seconds. Her prescription was created with only a few strokes on her PDA.

As the scenario illustrates, Dr Cameron’s treatment was improved and streamlined at the point-of-care by writing and transmitting her prescriptions electronically.