Understanding and overcoming barriers to user testing healthcare guidelines

Project: Research-related funding

Project Details


Hundreds of millions of medication errors occur globally each year, many of which harm patients with a cost of $42 billion/year. Healthcare professionals rely on written guidelines to provide the information needed to prescribe and administer medicines. However, difficulties finding and understanding information in such guidelines also contribute to errors.

Our University of Bath study applied a user testing technique to improve the design of the NHS Injectable Medicines Guide, leading to 2.5x reduction in medication errors, a 13% reduction in staff time and an estimated a five-year net monetary benefit of >£3m/drug.

However, user testing of the thousands of current healthcare guidelines is limited by a perceived lack of resource and skills in the healthcare system. However, user testing a relatively quick and simple procedure that could be applied by healthcare professionals with appropriate support.

This project will engage with the NHS and healthcare professionals to find out more about:
i. The process followed to develop, approve and review guidelines in their organisations
ii. The barriers to introducing user testing into this process
iii. What additional support might be effective in overcoming these barriers
iv. The feasibility of introducing user testing once this additional support is in place
Short title1500
Effective start/end date1/02/2331/07/23


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