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Framework for usability: healthcare professionals and the Internet

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The vastness and diversity of the Internet make it an emerging choice as an information repository and dissemination mechanism for healthcare-related information. The objective of this research is to characterize empirically the use of the Internet by a variety of healthcare professionals as well as to gauge perceptions of the Internet as a tool for information retrieval. This was accomplished through use of a questionnaire explicitly designed to gauge usage and perceptions of the Internet. Differences were detected between individual occupations of healthcare professionals with respect to Internet use and opinions concerning possible enhancements to the Internet. It was found that users' subjective experiences with the World-Wide Web (WWW) were more important than self-reported user knowledge when indicating the value of enhancements to the search process on the WWW. The methodological implications of the research together with a conceptual framework for usability that captures the essence of Internet usability in healthcare are presented. Directions for future research are provided.
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Keywords: BROWSERS; HEALTHCARE; INTERNET; SEARCH TOOLS; SEARCHING; WORLD-WIDE WEB

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 15, 2001

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