Information architecture for a patient-specific dashboard in head and neck tumor boards

  • Alexander OeserEmail author
  • Jan Gaebel
  • Andreas Dietz
  • Susanne Wiegand
  • Steffen Oeltze-Jafra
Original Article



Overcoming the flaws of current data management conditions in head and neck oncology could enable integrated information systems specifically tailored to the needs of medical experts in a tumor board meeting. Clinical dashboards are a promising method to assist various aspects of the decision-making process in such cognitively demanding scenarios. However, in order to provide extensive and intuitive assistance to the participating physicians, the design and development of such a system have to be user-centric. To accomplish this task, conceptual methods need to be performed prior to the technical development and integration stages.


We have conducted a qualitative survey including eight clinical experts with different levels of expertise in the field of head and neck oncology. According to the principles of information architecture, the survey focused on the identification and causal interconnection of necessary metrics for information assessment in the tumor board.


Based on the feedback by the clinical experts, we have constructed a detailed map of the required information items for a tumor board dashboard in head and neck oncology. Furthermore, we have identified three distinct groups of metrics (patient, disease and therapy metrics) as well as specific recommendations for their structural and graphical implementation.


By using the information architecture, we were able to gather valuable feedback about the requirements and cognitive processes of the tumor board members. Those insights have helped us to develop a dashboard application that closely adapts to the specified needs and characteristics, and thus is primarily user-centric.


Information architecture Tumor board Clinical dashboard User-centric design Assistance system 



The authors would like to thank M. Stöhr, V. Zebralla and J. Müller for their valuable comments and suggestions in regard to this paper.


This project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the scope of the program “Entrepreneurial Regions” with Grant Number 03Z1LN11. The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

For this type of study, formal consent is not required. This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

This article does not contain patient information.


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Copyright information

© CARS 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Oeser
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jan Gaebel
    • 1
  • Andreas Dietz
    • 2
  • Susanne Wiegand
    • 2
  • Steffen Oeltze-Jafra
    • 1
  1. 1.Innovation Center Computer Assisted SurgeryLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck SurgeryUniversity Hospital LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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