Design and Test of a Graphic Medication Dosage Calculator in Paramedic Practice with Children

Avi Parush, Nitzan Haim, Eli Jaffe, Oren Wacht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Children are more vulnerable to medication errors during prehospital care because of paramedic staff having less experience with pediatric patients. One of the possible solutions to this problem is the use of technologies as cognitive aids to medication dosage calculation. Objective: Design and empirically test a graphic dosage calculator tailored for pediatric medication calculation in prehospital emergency care. Methods: The design and development of the calculator followed an iterative user-centered design process. Fourteen novice and 16 experienced paramedics participated in the empirical test of the graphic calculator by running 3 pediatric medication scenarios with both the graphic calculator and a pocket handbook used currently to aid calculations. Results: It took significantly less time to complete the scenarios with the graphic calculator compared with the handbook. Both novice and experienced paramedics expressed similar levels of confidence with using the graphic calculator. Participants expressed a strong preference for the graphic calculator. Finally, the graphic calculator was scored significantly above a standard usability benchmark. Discussion: The results show that the graphic calculator was usable, more effective, efficient, and preferred compared with the current dosage calculation method. Technologies such as the graphic calculator designed and tested in this study can help not only with the rare cases, such as pediatrics, but might also mitigate skill decay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E343-E348
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Graphic dosage calculator
  • Medication calculation
  • Paramedics
  • User-centered design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine

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