Patients and professionals in collaborative testing of a web-based tool for integrated care: an evaluation study.
Since 2001, patients in Norway with long-term, complex needs for care have had a legal right to an "individual care plan", intended to increase efficiency and quality in health and social services, as well as patient involvement. Commonly, a responsible group is established to manage the planning process. A web-based application was developed and tested for three years in groups including both patients and professionals. Data were collected through questionnaires, interviews, project documentation and field notes. The findings showed that iterative testing improved usability. Participants expressed confidence in the online access and their enhanced control of planning and documentation. Testing in real-life environments added valuable and unforeseen information. It also showed that technical and organizational aspects influenced each other, and should not be considered separately. Despite the successful testing and improvement of the application, some participants and groups did not feel comfortable using it. Further research will be undertaken to address barriers to participation.
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