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This position paper describes the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) field studies component of the multidisciplinary Patient Records Enhancement Project (PREP). PREP seeks to understand variability of data found in primary care electronic records, in particular the balance between coded data and doctor's 'free text' notes. HCI fieldwork will establish variables that affect recording practices. In field studies we observe and record data recording practices in general practice (GP) surgeries, interview staff, video consultations with real patients and video consultations with standardized patients (played by medical actors). By standardizing patients we can compare the impact of other variables: different doctors, in different surgeries, using different e-health systems. Our early findings suggest that variability is due to a complex web of reasons, driven by personal, contextual and organizational processes. Findings from thematic analysis will result in design implications for studies by epidemiologists and public health researchers, design of NHS training and work processes, and design of electronic health record interfaces.
Date of Conference: 23-26 May 2011