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What is Focus Groups

Handbook of Research on ICTs for Human-Centered Healthcare and Social Care Services
This method is a variation of workshops. The method consists of a meeting involving relevant individuals to a discussion topic. This discussion is controlled by a moderator that holds a moderator guide to guide the discussion around key topics.
Published in Chapter:
Identifying Requirements for Healthcare Information Systems with Focus Groups
Carla Farinha (Opensoft/IST, Portugal) and Miguel Mira da Silva (INOV/IST, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3986-7.ch026
Healthcare Information Systems (HIS) are essential in the healthcare industry since they manipulate vital information. For example, HIS may keep track of the patient’s medical history, avoiding mistakes with medications, dosages, and treatments. However, the traditional methods for identifying HIS requirements focus on specifying functional requirements for the software. Moreover, system scope should be fully understood by stakeholders, such as healthcare workers and hospital managers, something extremely difficult to achieve in practice. As such, many requirements are incomplete, missing, or not needed, leading to expensive and inadequate HIS. The authors identify requirements for Healthcare Information System using Focus Groups. They evaluate this method with experiments, applying a variety of techniques and having encouraging preliminary results. In particular, they verify that stakeholders can reach consensus on high-level requirements by discussing different perspectives about the system scope. The authors conclude that Focus Groups are really effective.
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