A book chapter on ‘Design for improved workflow’

Mustafa, Blaine, Sunyoung, and I wrote a chapter on Design for Improved Workflow as part of Design for Health: Applications of Human Factors, published by Elsevier.


Workflow is a commonly used term in human factors and informatics literature. We embraced a broad definition and used it as a concept to examine various work phenomena. This chapter aims to discuss how design can improve workflow in health settings and eventually make care delivery patient-centered and safer. In general, design studies can improve workflow in two different ways: (1) the overall workflow and (2) interventions that would improve workflow. We highlighted two design approaches: user-centered design and participatory. These are two closely related approaches that engage (to varying degrees) targeted users along a continuum of participation to improve usability. For each of the three informatics subfields (clinical, public health, and consumer health), we provide relevant examples from studies, where users were engaged in the design process. We have identified whether the notion of workflow was formally addressed and gave examples of how workflow methodology might complement user-centered and participatory design efforts in clinical, public health, and consumer health informatics research. Although user-centered design includes a variety of methods, we introduced contextual inquiry and participatory design. These designs demonstrated two key distinctive features of user-centered design: the importance of understanding the holistic context of users’ social, technical, and cultural environments; and engaging users as codesigners. We deepen our discussion through a case that focuses on supporting patient engagement for improved intra- and cross-institutional workflow in an emergency department. Design studies that involve multidisciplinary perspectives are necessary to improve workflow that contributes to safer, higher quality, and more accessible care delivery.


Paper accepted at JMIR Formative Research

Our interview study of students’ mental wellbeing challenges and brainstorming design solutions has been accepted at JMIR Formative Research.

S. Park, N. Andalibi, Y. Zou, S. Ambulkar,  J. Huh-Yoo.  Understanding Students’ Mental Wellbeing Challenges on University Campus: An Interview Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research Formative Research (25% acceptance rate). (2020). In Press.

Rejoining MSU

As of 4/15/2018, I am excited to be rejoining the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University. I will live in San Diego, CA and travel to Michigan.

New seed grant received on expressive art therapy in inpatient services

We received $10,000 to develop the project, ‘Assessing efficacy of passive and active forms of expressive art therapy in inpatient services’, through the UCSD Health Sciences Academic Senate Research Grant Program.

Research questions and hypotheses
Study 1. Investigate efficacy and feasibility of passive expressive art therapy (PEAT)
Research Question. How is PEAT used at the JMC hospital?

Hypotheses: We hypothesize that patients who use the PEAT application will demonstrate reduced pain (Primary). We hypothesize that prediction models among patients will be able to identify patient cohorts that are more likely to use the PEAT application (Secondary).

Study 2. Evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of passive and active expressive art therapy
Research Question. What is the feasibility of recruitment, assessment, retention, compliance, and patient satisfaction?

Hypotheses: Expressive art therapy (both, active and passive) will improve reported pain among inpatients compared to usual care (Primary). Expressive art therapy will improve anxiety among inpatients compared to usual care (Secondary).

With Jejo Koola, MD, at Biomedical Informatics, Jina Huh will collaborate with the following people for this project: Chief Information Officer of UC San Diego Health (UCSDH) Chris Longhurst’s office, Steven Hickman’s group at the Mindfulness Institute at UCSDH, the Expressive Arts Institute of San Diego, CEO of UCSDH Thomas Savides, CMIO of Inpatient and Hopsital Affiliations at UCSDH, Paul Mills at CTRI UCSD, Rebecca Marmor, Kevin Ramotar at UCSD CAPS, and palliative care clinician Jeremy Hirst and alternative medicine researcher Erik Groessl.