IPCHS. Integrated People-Centred Health Services


Feb. 20, 2017 Americas

User-Centered Design of a Tablet Waiting Room Tool for Complex Patients to Prioritize Discussion Topics for Primary Care Visits.

Complex patients with multiple chronic conditions often face significant challenges communicating and coordinating with their primary care physicians. These challenges are exacerbated by the limited time allotted to primary care visits.


Our aim was to employ a user-centered design process to create a tablet tool for use by patients for visit discussion prioritization.


We employed user-centered design methods to create a tablet-based waiting room tool that enables complex patients to identify and set discussion topic priorities for their primary care visit. In an iterative design process, we completed one-on-one interviews with 40 patients and their 17 primary care providers, followed by three design sessions with a 12-patient group. We audiorecorded and transcribed all discussions and categorized major themes. In addition, we met with 15 key health communication, education, and technology leaders within our health system to further review the design and plan for broader implementation of the tool. In this paper, we present the significant changes made to the tablet tool at each phase of this design work.


Patient feedback emphasized the need to make the tablet tool accessible for patients who lacked technical proficiency and to reduce the quantity and complexity of text presentation. Both patients and their providers identified specific content choices based on their personal experiences (eg, the ability to raise private or sensitive concerns) and recommended targeting new patients. Stakeholder groups provided essential input on the need to augment text with video and to create different versions of the videos to match sex and race/ethnicity of the actors with patients.


User-centered design in collaboration with patients, providers, and key health stakeholders led to marked evolution in the initial content, layout, and target audience for a tablet waiting room tool intended to assist complex patients with setting visit discussion priorities.

JMIR mHealth and uHealth