It is necessary for every organization in Japan to address the risks of natural disasters, Japan being a high-risk area. Recently, local governments have been required to maintain not only the level of administrative services, but also the level of medical services that is required if a disaster occurs. However, no previous studies have clarified what countermeasures for maintaining the level of medical services should be taken by a local government. This study identifies important concepts, such as “medical needs required when a disaster occurs,” “medical service delivery capabilities to correspond to medical needs,” and “the gap between needs and delivery.” The purpose of the countermeasures is to eliminate the gap between needs and delivery. From these concepts, we derive five types of countermeasures. For example, Type 4 means that it is necessary to obtain the additional medical resources from other organizations in the area or other areas to improve medical services’ delivery capability. Moreover, 15 more detailed countermeasures are clarified by taking into account the medical features of the organization. Finally, we verify the effectiveness of the proposed countermeasure types in a hospital setting.
Recent years have seen progress in multi-functioning through information and communication equipment, such as personal computers and multi-function printers. Consumers are increasingly using multi-functional devices. One of the most vital aspects of the communication function is response time (RT). The length of the RT may be indefinite because it depends on the situation in which the communication occurs. Therefore, there is a possibility that user complaints may arise. Thus, user satisfaction in this regard is important. Companies that make information and communication equipment must improve usability by considering users" Kansei, that is, the perceptions or feelings of human beings.
RT can be considered in two ways. One way is to devise the display content to prevent users from getting bored, such as animation. The other way is to make a good impression throughout the entire operation, such as through a "smooth" and "comfortable" user experience. However, the question remains: how may RT be used to provide a good impression?
First, this study divided the operational process into two parts: "pressing a button" and "waiting during the RT." Problematic operational processes were cleared by tracing users" emotional ups and downs. Such problematic operational processes were improved upon by understanding the Kansei evaluation structure, which is a network model representing the cause–effect relationship between each evaluation word based on users" evaluations.
Next, language-related data on user requirements were grasped through an interview on the usability of the entire operation and each operational process. The Kansei evaluation words (i.e., words used by users to express their feelings/perceptions) for the entire process, such as "comfortable throughout the entire process," and for each operational process, such as "the first wait is too long," were selected. A survey on the semantic differential method using the Kansei evaluation words was conducted. Then, the Kansei evaluation structure related to the entire process was determined. Our analysis enables us to understand how to use the function of RT to provide satisfactory user experience.
The purpose of this study is to systematize the perspectives for work process diagnosis in healthcare based on a quality management approach. Three general perspectives are established to achieve this, related to process structure, process contents, and process management. These three general perspectives are then developed in detailed considering nine healthcare characteristics represented by such statements as "must respond to significant differences among individual patients", "patient's condition changes on a moment-by-moment basis," and so on. A list of 278 specific perspectives for healthcare work process diagnosis is prepared from this. Finally, the list is tested and applied in two hospitals, where we verify its effectiveness by confirming the results of the work process diagnosis before and after its application.
Growth disorder is an important problem in child health. School nurses are responsible for child health management in elementary schools; although this task is important, it is also difficult.
In the present study, we aimed to develop a support system for school nurses performing this task. First, we focused on the screening process for growth disorders, and developed a method to identify these conditions regardless of the differences of in their ability, by using height data of approximately 400 students from the fourth to sixth grades in elementary school. Second, we evaluated the process of examining the condition in each child after screening. Finally, we developed a supporting tool that school nurses can use, in practice. This system could help school nurses in managing children health. With regard to the next step in this research, we plan to design a multiple health care management system by introducing a new indicator involving both height and weight data.
Commodity packaging targeted at general consumers is primarily considered a parameter for determining purchasing preferences. Conventionally, studies have focused on the design guidelines of packages that are aimed at improving the purchasing desire of consumers. However, hamburger packages have never been evaluated as a parameter for determining purchasing preferences, perhaps because they accompany a product after its purchase. In addition, packages need to be specifically designed for improving product evaluation rather than package evaluation, since the latter is the product's accessory. The rationale behind designing a hamburger package is unclear, and they seem to be designed by trial and error. Therefore, it is necessary to understand how properties such as shape and size should be considered to improve product evaluation.
In this study, we describe the properties necessary to meet consumers' requirements for improving product evaluation. Thus, we analyzed the relationship between consumer needs and the properties of hamburger packages by using the laddering method. The results of our analysis revealed that the value structure of the hamburger packages is affected by the type of burger. We also reveal the properties that need to be considered when designing these packages.