Pattern mining of user interaction logs for a post-deployment usability evaluation of a radiology PACS client

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Objectives: To perform a post-deployment usability evaluation of a radiology Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) client based on pattern mining of user interaction log data, and to assess the usefulness of this approach compared to a field study.

Methods: All user actions performed on the PACS client were logged for four months. A data mining technique called closed sequential pattern mining was used to automatically extract frequently occurring interaction patterns from the log data. These patterns were used to identify usability issues with the PACS. The results of this evaluation were compared to the results of a field study based usability evaluation of the same PACS client.

Results: The interaction patterns revealed four usability issues: (1) the display protocols do not function properly, (2) the line measurement tool stays active until another tool is selected, rather than being deactivated after one use, (3) the PACS's built-in 3D functionality does not allow users to effectively perform certain 3D-related tasks, (4) users underuse the PACS's customization possibilities. All usability issues identified based on the log data were also found in the field study, which identified 48 issues in total.

Conclusions: Post-deployment usability evaluation based on pattern mining of user interaction log data provides useful insights into the way users interact with the radiology PACS client. However, it reveals few usability issues compared to a field study and should therefore not be used as the sole method of usability evaluation. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-42
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2016


  • Usability
  • User-computer interface
  • User interaction log data
  • Data mining
  • Picture archiving and communication system
  • TOOL

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