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Contextual Inquiry

From Ehealthwiki

Contextual InquiryValue SpecificationDesignOperationalizationSummative EvaluationFormative EvaluationFormative EvaluationUser RequirementsPrototypingValue DriversBusiness ModelRoadmap-contextualinquiry.png

Purpose and meaning

Contextual inquiry is aimed at finding out what the problems in healthcare are, what the contribution of technology can be, and who might benefit from the technology. It starts with project management. Via desk research stakeholders with different backgrounds (eg, financers, decision-makers, patients, caregivers) are indentified by the project management team. Next, the stakeholders are invited in a focus group to identify problems with the current healthcare delivery via scenarios and articulate their needs and demands to solve the problems[1] [2].


Research questions:
A. What is the healthcare problem?
B. Who has a stake in addressing the problem?

Tasks performed by the project team:
A. Identify the problem

  • Discuss the problem from different stakeholders’ point of views
  • Categorize the problem according into core healthcare problems (efficiency, effectiveness, timely, safety)
  • Prioritize the problem/need that has to be solved

B. Stakeholders analysis

  • Invite the stakeholders of the problem/need
  • Discuss who the key-stakeholders are
  • Specify the roles and tasks of the stakeholders


  1. Maguire M. Methods to support human-centred design. Int J Hum Comput Stud 2001;55(4):587-634.
  2. Babbie E. The practice of social research. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2007.

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