Measuring adherence to clinical guidelines using mobile health (mHealth) technologies when form field validation is enforced or turned on could potentially be viewed as skewing the dataset, leading to 100% adherence to the clinical rule base. In theory, healthcare providers should fully abide by clinical guidelines, whether in paper or digital format, to ensure that the patient receives appropriate care. However, what happens when mHealth form field validation is turned off? As part of a feasibility study in Malawi, Africa, we explored this phenomenon. Switching off validation on the mHealth artefact served its purpose within the context of a feasibility study where a parallel paper-based clinical assessment process remained in place. The design of this technical artefact with the turnkey validation feature afforded us the opportunity to turn validation on and off seamlessly. Ultimately, from an ethical, clinical and technical perspective the optimum approach is to ensure that form field validation is switched on. With form field validation on adherence to the clinical guidelines is enforced which minimises incomplete assessment and the potential for suboptimal clinical decisions that could adversely affect patient care.
O’ Connor, Yvonne; Hardy, Victoria; Thompson, Matthew; Mastellos, Nikolaos; Tran, Tammy; O’ Donoghue, John; Chirambo, Griphin Baxter; Andersson, Bo; Carlsson, Sven; and Heavin, Ciara, "THE IMPORTANCE OF FORM FIELD VALIDATION: LESSONS LEARNT FROM A FEASIBILITY STUDY OF AN MHEALTH APPLICATION IN MALAWI, AFRICA." (2016). PACIS 2016 Proceedings. 24.