Recording breast screening decisions: human factors and new technology
© BioMed Central 2002
Published: 1 July 2002
The Personal Performance in Mammographic Screening (PERFORMS) self-assessment scheme was designed to give radiologists insight into their own breast screening diagnostic performance skills. Originally conceived solely as a paper-based approach, the scheme has been very successful and consequently has expanded. Currently, a handheld computer is utilised, both to record an individual's opinions about each case examined and to provide some initial immediate feedback on the accuracy of their decisions. Unfortunately, the complexity of the scheme has now far outstripped the recording technology used, which affects both current usability and limits future enhancements. This paper describes the factors involved in the redesign of a new state of the art system for recording radiologists' decisions in breast screening that could have more widespread applicability outside the self-assessment scheme.
Human factors methods have been implemented to analyse users' needs and determine the hardware requirements. A wide range of potential systems have been considered, including voice-operated, augmented reality and tablet computers. The availability of a Windows-based Webpad provides the opportunity of developing an easy to use system that can provide expanded information to the radiologist. Ongoing studies are investigating the design of the final user interface, and launch of the new system is anticipated in 2003.