Utilizing Multiple Research Methods to Understand In-Home IV Infusions: Exploring a Use Environment to Provide Flexible Future Treatment Options
TimeFriday, April 1612:50pm - 1:10pm EDT
LocationMedical and Drug Delivery Devices
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: AbbVie sought to gain a broad understanding of the environment of in-home IV administration in order to better understand the process and identify new product and service solutions.
Many of AbbVie's current and future therapeutic products are delivered by IV administration. This research was primarily directed at learning more about in-home IV administration so that it can be considered as an option for patients requiring IV therapy, in addition to going to an infusion clinic. In-home IV administration offers patients the benefits of schedule flexibility, reduced total treatment time (e.g., no travel time or waiting), and privacy. Additionally, given the COVID-19 pandemic, patients may increasingly seek out treatment options that don’t require them to leave home. In-home IV administration may offer a solution for these patients.
METHODS: To meet this goal, AbbVie partnered with Design Science to develop and execute a progressive, multi-phase research plan, including:
• Interviewing nurses who conduct in-home IV administrations.
• Conducting ethnographic observations in homes with patients receiving IV administration.
• Nationwide online survey with in-home IV nurses.
Conducting the research in these progressive phases allowed us to more thoroughly design our data collection tools for the ethnographic research, based on the learnings of the initial interviews with nurses. Further, while we were able to collect in-depth contextual information from a relatively small sample during the ethnographic observations, we were able to extrapolate and confirm findings from that research via the nationwide survey, within which we spoke to 71 nurses across the country.
Based on the data collected in the various phases of the research, we created a logistics flow illustrating product/ancillary receipt, storage, preparation, and administration, as well as roles of various actors involved in the use of the products, summarized devices and supplies used, and investigated challenges faced by nurses and patients. An outcome of the research was a list of potential improvements that could be made to improve the nurse and patient’s experience with in-home IV infusions.
DISCUSSION: Combining user research methods allowed AbbVie to increase their understanding of multiple user groups – patients, non-professional caregivers, specialty pharmacists, and in-home IV nurses – in a multi-faceted way that would be impossible to achieve using a single research method. Given the current state of events in the world (i.e., the COVID-19 pandemic), identifying ways to get more out of user research will be increasingly important, as access to specific patient and HCP populations will continue to be challenging. Combining methods, with each technique reaching a small population of users, can be an effective approach to meeting these challenges.
CONCLUSIONS: The Contextual Inquiry phase of the research allowed AbbVie to detect use challenges and determine critical aspects of the use process. These learnings allowed for the nurse survey to be structured in a way to generate data that highlighted the following improvements to the nurse and patient experience: standardization of home infusion devices, reduction of number of syringes or bottles for infusions, pre-primed medications, reducing overall infusion time, and having experienced nurses perform home infusions.