Interdisciplinary systematic review: does alignment between system and design shape adoption and use of barcode medication administration technology?

Rhys Williams, R Aldakhil, Ann Blandford, Y Jani
in BMJ Open, Journal article


BACKGROUND: In order to reduce safety risks associated with medication administrations, technologies such as barcode medication administration (BCMA) are increasingly used. Examining how human factors influence adoption and usability of this technology can potentially highlight areas for improvement in design and implementation. OBJECTIVE: To describe how human factors related determinants for BCMA have been researched and reported by healthcare and human-computer interaction disciplines. DATA SOURCES: The Cumulative Index of Nursing, and Allied Health Literature, PubMed, OVID MEDLINE and Google Scholar. STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Primary research published from April 2000 to April 2020, search terms developed to identity different disciplinary research perspectives that examined BCMA use, used a human factors lens and were published in English. SYNTHESIS METHODS: Computerised systematic searches were conducted in four databases. Eligible papers were systematically analysed for themes. Themes were discussed with a second reviewer and supervisors to ensure they were representative of content. RESULTS: Of 3707 papers screened, 11 were included. Studies did not fit neatly into a clinical or human-computer interaction perspective but instead uncovered a range of overlapping narratives, demonstrating consensus on the key themes despite differing research approaches. Prevalent themes were misaligned design and workflow, adaptation and workarounds, mediating factors, safety, users' perceptions and design and usability. Inadequate design frequently led to workarounds, which jeopardised safety. Reported mediating factors included clarity of user needs, pre/post implementation evaluations, analysis of existing workarounds and appropriate technology, infrastructure and staffing. LIMITATIONS: Most studies were relatively small and qualitative, making it difficult to generalise findings. CONCLUSION: Evaluating interdisciplinary perspectives including human factors approaches identified similar and complementary enablers and barriers to successful technology use. Often, mediating factors were developed to compensate for unsuitable design; a collaborative approach between system designer and end users is necessary for BCMA to achieve its true safety potential.