Tailoring number entry interfaces to the task of programming medical infusion pumps

in HFES 2013: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Journal article


Tailoring number entry interfaces by adding shortcut keys for common numbers can make interactions with them faster, and more accurate, we apply this idea to the design of medical devices. In the medical domain, accuracy and speed of number entry is highly important for administering the most effective patient treatment. We report the results of a lab-based experiment that compared three existing infusion pump interfaces. Based on data taken from real infusions programmed on hospital wards, adaptations are made to existing infusion pump number entry interfaces (by adding buttons or altering the effects of interaction) and tested in the experiment, with the aim of investigating if tailoring interfaces can have an effect upon the number of key presses required to program a test infusion and the errors made. Here we show that tailoring the interfaces can significantly reduce the number of key presses, and thus may reduce the opportunity for error. We also present findings regarding the process of tailoring interfaces that have wider implications for the design of devices outside of the medical domain.