Research

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Michigan-Flint. My research interests include Human Computer interaction (HCI), Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Universal Usability, and Health Informatics.

Current Projects:

  • Exploring challenges in transitioning from paper-based to electronic medical record system in a non-profit nurse-managed primary care clinic
  • Designing better technologies for supporting small project group collaboration
  • Investigating Communication Challenges of Team-based collaboration in Health Care to Inform the Design of Supporting Technologies

Post-Doc Research

I was a post-doctoral research fellow working with Dr. Joanna McGrenere in the Imager Lab, Department of Computer Science, University of British Columbia.

Projects completed:

  • Personal task management – Mona Haraty (PhD Student)
  • Field Study to investigate Impact of Interruptions on Older Adults in the Home
  • Experimental Study of the Impacts of Computer-Based Interruptions on Task Performance – Matthew Brehmer (MSc Student)
  • Participatory Design for Haptic Technology in Portable Audio Player – Gokhan Himmetoglu (MSc Student)
  • Facilitating Better Dialog with Children – Mohan Raj Rajamanickam (MSc Student)
  • Learnability of Mobile Devices by Older Users – Rock Leung (PhD Student) and Shathel Haddad (MSc student)

Prior to joining the Imager Lab, I was a post-doc research fellow working with Dr. William Ghali in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Calgary from Sept 2009 – Sept 2010.

Projects completed:

  • Systematic Review on Computerized Physician Handover Tools
  • Multi-site Physician Handover Project
  • Seamless Discharge Tool Implementation and Evaluation
  • Graduate Competency Portal
  • Pain Diaries Knowledge Translation Evaluation

PhD Research

My PhD research focused on “Studying Nurses’ Information Flow to Inform Technology Design” from the perspective of Human-Computer Interaction and Computer Supported Cooperative Work, under the supervision of Dr. Sheelagh Carpendale. My PhD work was conducted within a highly collaborative and stimulating research environment, the Innovis Lab which is part of the Interactions Lab.

I studied nurses’ information flow in a local urban hospital ward, the Medical Ward of the 21st Century as the case study for my research. The research project consists of several longitudinal studies:

  • An exploratory field study to investigate nurses’ information flow during shift change
  • A two-phase observational study to assess the impact of a newly deployed mobile information technology on nurses’ information flow and an exit survey to gather qualitative and quantitative feedback
  • A two-phase observational field study to evaluate the impact of a mobile voice communication technology on nursing staff’s information flow
  • A focus group study to evaluate an integrated paper and digital charting prototype built with digital pen and paper technology.

My research employed a qualitative approach, using mixed methods including observations, interviews, examination of information artefacts, questionnaires and focus group to investigate where and how technology can support the information flow.

Abstract

Information flow within medical environments is ubiquitous and is essential for the coordination and collaboration among spatially and temporally distributed multidisciplinary clinicians for achieving work. Thus, in order to provide the best possible healthcare to patients, nurses working in different shifts must work collaboratively to ensure all the necessary information is communicated so that patient care can be carried on properly.

In this dissertation, I investigate the work practices in use, observing how they are exercised during nurses’ information flow, and how they are impacted by new technologies. To gain a good understanding of nurses’ actual work practices that have been developed over years of experience, an in-depth observational study was conducted. This study provides a set of benchmark work practices for comparison and contrast when new technologies are deployed. While digital solutions have been replacing paper medical records to provide more consistent, integrated, distributed, and timely sharing of information, current information systems were found to fall short in supporting daily clinical practices due to its fragmented, hierarchical structure. Besides, many technological candidates to replace paper, such as Tablet PCs or PDAs, seem to fall short due to their constrained interfaces, indirect forms of input (mouse and keyboards), inability to share multiple documents concurrently, and failure to support “writing-as-thinking”.

In order to apply the knowledge gained through these studies to the development of technologies for a more seamless and less obtrusive fit into the working environment, the results of the observational studies were combined with past literature to inform the development of a conceptual framework for nurses’ information flow. This framework is useful for evaluating the impact of new technologies on information flow and for generating new technology designs. This resulted in the development of a technology prototype which I then evaluated through a focus group of practising nurses who indicated promising potential of an integrated charting approach bridging the nurses’ use of paper personal notes and the organizational deployment of digital medical records. The insights gained from this investigation led to the development of a refined set of design guidelines for developing technologies to support nurses’ information flow practices.

MSc Research

My Masters research investigated “Capturing And Visualizing Histories of Multimedia-Based Casual Interactions” supervised by Dr. Saul Greenberg in Grouplab.

Abstract

Many groupware systems now allow people to converse and casually interact through their computers using multimedia—text, images, video and etc. A visualized history of these interactions can help group members reflect on their past interactions, and can help researchers investigate the nuances of online communities.

In this thesis, I address the problem of how one can capture and visualize temporal histories of multimedia conversations. First, I built a tool to capture the conversations that occur on the Notification Collage, a computer-mediated communication system that lets people post multimedia items into a public communication space. Second, I built VisStreams, a system that lets people visualize and review past multimedia conversations. Third, I identified through end-user participation a taxonomy of tasks and visualizations. These become guidelines for developing visualization tools for multimedia histories of casual interaction. I evaluate VisStreams against this taxonomy to better understand its potential use and direct its future iterations.