Using the critical incident technique to define a minimal data set for requirements elicitation in public health

Christina Ölvingson, Niklas Hallberg, Toomas Timpka, Robert A. Greenes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The introduction of computer-based information systems (ISs) in public health provides enhanced possibilities for service improvements and hence also for improvement of the population's health. Not least, new communication systems can help in the socialization and integration process needed between the different professions and geographical regions. Therefore, development of ISs that truly support public health practices require that technical, cognitive, and social issues be taken into consideration. A notable problem is to capture 'voices' of all potential users, i.e., the viewpoints of different public health practitioners. Failing to capture these voices will result in inefficient or even useless systems. The aim of this study is to develop a minimal data set for capturing users' voices on problems experienced by public health professionals in their daily work and opinions about how these problems can be solved. The issues of concern thus captured can be used both as the basis for formulating the requirements of ISs for public health professionals and to create an understanding of the use context. Further, the data can help in directing the design to the features most important for the users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-174
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 18 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Critical incident technique
  • Information systems design
  • Public health
  • Public health informatics
  • Requirements engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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