Comparative usability evaluation of systemic therapy computerized prescriber order entry systems

August 2007 to March 2008


HumanEra engaged with Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) to conduct a comparative usability evaluation of systemic therapy computerized prescriber order entry (ST CPOE) systems to help inform a decision about which system should be endorsed for Ontario cancer care providers. Two ST CPOE systems were compared in terms of ease of use and patient safety.

Twenty-nine medical oncologists, oncology pharmacists and oncology nurses from across Ontario participated in usability testing. Two types of quantitative data were collected during the evaluation:

  1. Performance metrics which focused on how successful participants were at completing the scenarios with each system;
  2. User perception metrics, which focused on what the participants thought of each system based on their test session.

In addition, specific usability issues with each of the CPOE systems were identified and categorized according to their impact on patient safety and likelihood of occurrences.

One of the CPOE systems performed significantly better than the other in terms of performance and user perceptions metrics. The usability issues identified with this system were also fewer in number, less severe, and more likely to be easily resolved. As a result, one of the two ST CPOE system was recommended by the team.

Funding Agencies

CancerCare Ontario

Project Sponsor

Tony Easty



Princess Margaret Hospital

Project Team

Rachel White
Raquel Lopez

For more information on this project, contact:

Rachel White