tools needed to assess whether particular individuals would be able to perform specific health care tasks at home, and medical device and system designers lack information on the demands associated with health-related tasks performed at home and the human capabilities needed to perform them successfully.

Whether used to assess the characteristics of formal or informal caregivers or persons engaged in self-care, task analysis can be used to develop point-of-care tools for use by consumers and caregivers alike in locations where such tasks are encouraged or prescribed. The tools could facilitate identification of potential mismatches between the characteristics, abilities, experiences, and attitudes that an individual brings to a task and the demands associated with the task. Used in ambulatory care settings, at hospital discharge or other transitions of care, and in the home by caregivers or individuals and family members themselves, these tools could enable assessment of prospective task performer’s capabilities in relation to the demands of the task. The tools might range in complexity from brief screening checklists for clinicians to comprehensive assessment batteries that permit nuanced study and tracking of home-based health care tasks by administrators and researchers. The results are likely to help identify types of needed interventions and support aids that would enhance the abilities of individuals to perform health care tasks in home settings safely, effectively, and efficiently.

Recommendation 11. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality should collaborate, as necessary, with the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to support development of assessment tools customized for home-based health care, designed to analyze the demands of tasks associated with home-based health care, the operator capabilities required to carry them out, and the relevant capabilities of specific individuals.


Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. (2009). ANSI/AAMI HE75:2009: Human factors engineering: Design of medical devices. Available: [April 2011].

Self-Determination Housing Project of Pennsylvania, Inc. (n.d.) Promoting visitability in Pennsylvania. Available: [March 30, 2011].

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