Usability of Documentation Software Used by Direct Support Providers: A Proof-of-Concept Study

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Martina A. ClarkeLisa L NeitzkeKathryn M Cooper

Abstract: Direct support professionals (DSPs) face high levels of stress and burnout while providing care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DDs). This paper examines the usability challenges associated with documentation software used by DSPs. A proof-of-concept study surveyed six DSPs to assess the subjective usability of the software using the Usefulness, Satisfaction, and Ease of use (USE) Questionnaire. Results showed that DSPs rated the software neutrally or negatively across dimensions of Usefulness (mean = 4.12; SD = 2.66), Ease of use (mean = 3.65; SD = 2.17), Learnability (mean = 3.46; SD = 2.52), and Satisfaction (mean = 2.75; SD = 1.50). Addressing usability issues is crucial to improve DSPs' well-being and the quality of care provided to individuals with I/DD. User-centered design principles and usability testing are necessary to improve health information technology (HIT) systems, reduce cognitive load, streamline workflows, and increase user satisfaction. By recognizing the significance of HIT usability and its impact on burnout, organizations can prioritize the design and implementation of systems that support DSPs. Future research include larger sample size and qualitative data collection to gather user feedback to create intuitive and effective documentation software to better support DSPs.

Keywords: Direct Support Professionals, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Usability, Burnout, Professional, Health Information Technology

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003672

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