Diana E. Forsythe

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Anthropologists have been using ethnographic methods since the 1970s to support the design and evaluation of software. While early use of such skills in the design world was viewed as experimental, at least by computer scientists and engineers, ethnography has now become established as a useful skill in technology design. Not only are corporations and(More)
This paper is a report on the first phase of a long-term, interdisciplinary project whose goal is to increase the overall effectiveness of physicians' time, and thus the quality of health care, by improving the information exchange between physicians and patients in clinical settings. We are focusing on patients with long-term and chronic conditions,(More)
The long-term goal of our research is to improve the overall effectiveness of physicians' time, by improving the information exchange between physicians and chronic-care patients, initially migraine patients. The computer system we are constructing has a partial knowledge base about migraines, common therapies, and common side effects of those therapies.(More)
OBJECTIVE To describe information requests expressed during clinical teaching. SETTING Residents' work rounds, attending rounds, morning report, and interns' clinic in a university-based general medicine service. SUBJECTS Attending physicians, medical house staff, and medical students in a general medicine training program. METHODS An anthropologist(More)
Obtaining and managing clinically relevant information constitutes a major problem for physicians, for which the development of automated tools is often proposed as a solution. However, designing and implementing appropriate automated solutions presumes knowledge of physicians' information needs. We describe an empirical study of information needs in four(More)
Evaluation in medical informatics tends to follow the paradigm of controlled clinical trials. This model carries with it a number of assumptions whose implications for medical informatics deserve examination. In this paper, we describe the conventional wisdom on evaluation, pointing out some of its underlying assumptions and suggesting that these(More)
This paper presents pre-implementation data from the internal medicine division of a large physician group practice scheduled to implement an electronic medical record (EMR). Data were gathered through short-term participant observation and interviews. Findings indicate that (1) most physicians anticipate enough benefits to be willing to use the system; (2)(More)
The problem of user acceptance of knowledge-based systems is a current concern in medical informatics. User acceptance should increase when system-builders understand both the needs of potential users and the context in which a system will be used. Ethnography is one source of such understanding. This paper describes the contribution of ethnography (and an(More)
Managing information is necessary to support clinical decision making and action in critical care. By understanding the nature of information management and its relationship to sound clinical practice, we should come to use technology more wisely. We demonstrated that a new approach inspired by ethnographic research methods could identify useful and(More)