User Experience Considerations for Patient-Centered Handoffs in Surgical Oncology

  • Nancy Staggers
  • Marge Benham-Hutchins
  • Laura Heermann Langford
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8515)


Handoffs, the transfer of care responsibility from one provider to another, commonly occur in intra-disciplinary silos that exclude patients. Little is known about patient preferences about handoff participation in surgical oncology and key information needs including user experience (UX) considerations. This exploratory, descriptive study was conducted at a cancer center in the western United States using a purposeful sampling technique to select 20 surgical oncology in-patients. The team used methodological pluralism for data collection: naturalistic observations, interviews, field notes, and artifact capture. Data analysis included systematic steps and content analysis consistent with accepted qualitative research methods. The analysis resulted in 356 codes synthesized into 15 categories and 3 themes: Depends Upon How Sick I Am, I Want To Know Everything, and My Life Is In Their Hands. Fifteen participants expressed varying levels of interest in participating in handoffs, and 18 of the 20 wanted to know "everything" about themselves. Initial categories of patients’ information needs were developed. An opportunity exists to expand health informatics tools to inpatients and their families and design them from patients’ perspectives. UX considerations are outlined to expand informatics tools for collaborative decision making to inpatient activities and include person-centered applications, electronic white boards to consider user diversity and tasks as well as context-sensitive information design.


Handoffs user experience qualitative research 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy Staggers
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marge Benham-Hutchins
    • 3
  • Laura Heermann Langford
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of MarylandUSA
  2. 2.University of UtahUSA
  3. 3.Texas Woman’s UniversityUSA
  4. 4.Intermountain HealthcareUSA

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