Automated dispensing cabinets: A usability study using virtual reality simulation
Linn, Colleen M.
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Automated Dispensing Cabinets (ADC) are increasingly becoming essential technology in hospitals. Currently, the available research on ADCs is primarily in two areas. One area is in the design and specifications of ADCs, and the other is their role in reducing medical and inventory errors. Regarding the latter, 'before-after' studies are predominant. ADCs are a relatively new addition to hospital equipment. This means that there are fewer machine-human interaction studies. Machine-human interaction is important for assessing efficiency and errors, especially when taking into account the long working hours of the nurses along with its associated cognitive loads and fatigue. A study was devised that investigated the machine-human interrelationships of the hospital ADCs. Since these are expensive, this study uses a Virtual Reality Simulation (VRS) of a one particular brand. Experiments on machine-human interactions are carried out within the VRS. The first step of the study involved creating the VRS, and then it was evaluated to determine its usability. This was done by asking nurses, those who have had prior knowledge and experience with ADCs, to test out the VRS and provide feedback through a 10 question modified system usability survey (SUS). Nurses were given a task to complete within the VRS. This was one that is commonly done in a real world situation. At the conclusion of the study, the results from the usability data are used to report on the advantages, disadvantages, and the implications of creating a VRS of an ADC. Recommendations for future research are also included in this thesis.