Using semantic search to reduce cognitive load in an electronic health record


As electronic health records (EHRs) become more prevalent in health care further research is needed to understand the efficacy within clinical contexts from a human-computer interaction viewpoint. Participants (N=10) were given two authentic scenarios that required users to search for patient information. In the first scenario, participants responded to a patient-specific information need as they normally would. In the second scenario, participants were given a semantic search tool that indexed terms within a patient EHR. Upon completion, participants were then asked questions in a semi-structured interview about current usage of the EHR. Statistically significant results revealed that participants were able to more efficiently navigate through an EHR in terms of time (semantic search M=140 vs. browsing M=239 seconds) and number of clicks (semantic search M=11 vs. browsing M=35). This study suggests that semantic search capabilities may be a good way to reduce cognitive load within clinical settings for similar patient-specific information needs. © 2011 IEEE.

Publication Title

2011 IEEE 13th International Conference on e-Health Networking, Applications and Services, HEALTHCOM 2011