User-centered design of a scalable, electronic health record-integrated remote symptom monitoring intervention for patients with asthma and providers in primary care

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021 Oct 12;28(11):2433-2444. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocab157.


Objective: To determine user and electronic health records (EHR) integration requirements for a scalable remote symptom monitoring intervention for asthma patients and their providers.

Methods: Guided by the Non-Adoption, Abandonment, Scale-up, Spread, and Sustainability (NASSS) framework, we conducted a user-centered design process involving English- and Spanish-speaking patients and providers affiliated with an academic medical center. We conducted a secondary analysis of interview transcripts from our prior study, new design sessions with patients and primary care providers (PCPs), and a survey of PCPs. We determined EHR integration requirements as part of the asthma app design and development process.

Results: Analysis of 26 transcripts (21 patients, 5 providers) from the prior study, 21 new design sessions (15 patients, 6 providers), and survey responses from 55 PCPs (71% of 78) identified requirements. Patient-facing requirements included: 1- or 5-item symptom questionnaires each week, depending on asthma control; option to request a callback; ability to enter notes, triggers, and peak flows; and tips pushed via the app prior to a clinic visit. PCP-facing requirements included a clinician-facing dashboard accessible from the EHR and an EHR inbox message preceding the visit. PCP preferences diverged regarding graphical presentations of patient-reported outcomes (PROs). Nurse-facing requirements included callback requests sent as an EHR inbox message. Requirements were consistent for English- and Spanish-speaking patients. EHR integration required use of custom application programming interfaces (APIs).

Conclusion: Using the NASSS framework to guide our user-centered design process, we identified patient and provider requirements for scaling an EHR-integrated remote symptom monitoring intervention in primary care. These requirements met the needs of patients and providers. Additional standards for PRO displays and EHR inbox APIs are needed to facilitate spread.

Keywords: application programmer interfaces; electronic health record integration; intervention design; remote symptom monitoring; user-centered design.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma* / therapy
  • Electronic Health Records*
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • User-Centered Design