Evaluating a modular decision support application for colorectal cancer screening

Laura G. Militello, Julie B. Diiulio, Morgan R. Borders, Christen E. Sushereba, Jason J. Saleem, Donald Haverkamp, Thomas F. Imperiale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Background: There is a need for health information technology evaluation that goes beyond randomized controlled trials to include consideration of usability, cognition, feedback from representative users, and impact on efficiency, data quality, and clinical workflow. This article presents an evaluation illustrating one approach to this need using the Decision-Centered Design framework. Objective: To evaluate, through a Decision-Centered Design framework, the ability of the Screening and Surveillance App to support primary care clinicians in tracking and managing colorectal cancer testing. Methods: We leveraged two evaluation formats, online and in-person, to obtain feedback from a range primary care clinicians and obtain comparative data. Both the online and in-person evaluations used mock patient data to simulate challenging patient scenarios. Primary care clinicians responded to a series of colorectal cancer-related questions about each patient and made recommendations for screening. We collected data on performance, perceived workload, and usability. Key elements of Decision-Centered Design include evaluation in the context of realistic, challenging scenarios and measures designed to explore impact on cognitive performance. Results: Comparison of means revealed increases in accuracy, efficiency, and usability and decreases in perceived mental effort and workload when using the Screening and Surveillance App. Conclusion: The results speak to the benefits of using the Decision-Centered Design approach in the analysis, design, and evaluation of Health Information Technology. Furthermore, the Screening and Surveillance App shows promise for filling decision support gaps in current electronic health records.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-179
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Clinical Informatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Cancer screening
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Decision support techniques
  • Evaluation methodology
  • Health information technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Information Management

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  • Cite this

    Militello, L. G., Diiulio, J. B., Borders, M. R., Sushereba, C. E., Saleem, J. J., Haverkamp, D., & Imperiale, T. F. (2017). Evaluating a modular decision support application for colorectal cancer screening. Applied Clinical Informatics, 8(1), 162-179. https://doi.org/10.4338/ACI-2016-09-RA-0152