HealthIT

Health IT (information technology) is the area of IT involving the design, development, creation, use and maintenance of information systems for the healthcare industry. Automated and interoperable healthcare information systems are expected to lower costs, improve efficiency and reduce error, while also providing better consumer care and service.

The top 5 EHR usability problems and how to fix them!

This year at HIMSS in Las Vegas there was no shortage of talk about the “lack of usability” in EHRs.  In the final HIMSS16 show daily (Thursday March 3, 2016) there were four articles (“When EHRs cause Harm,” “5 UX steps to Healthy Clinical apps,” “Nurse: We face severe IT usability problems,” and “The leading health IT issues? Poor usability and missing safeguards”) that addressed some aspect of EHR usability.

For The Usability People, LLC the time for talk has long been over.  Many of you already know that we have been on an active campaign--by giving talks at conferences, on social media, and with our many Healthcare clients--to improve the usability of Health IT.  We don’t want more talk, we want to DO SOMETHING about this important healthcare issue.  Usability in healthcare it can save lives. 

 

Jean Piaget & the Usability of Healthcare Software

Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist and philosopher known for his epistemological studies with children. His theories of cognitive development helped pioneer the field of developmental psychology and influenced generations of elementary school curriculum.

The usability of healthcare software, or lack thereof, has been a topic of discussion for several years. The problem has become so widespread that the American Medical Association (AMA) has recently issued a framework for improving the ease of use of EHRs that, in part, includes the reduction of 'cognitive load.'

Please don’t air our dirty laundry!

Before running the summative usability evaluation for §170.314(g)(3) Safety-enhanced design we recommend that EHR vendors begin working with a usability expert to identify possible usability issues before they are exposed as “dirty laundry” in a formal report.

Design for the users--not the requirements

Quick thought:

Use the persona’s to create realistic use cases based upon the real user's needs that you understand based upon your research. Usability people often call these use cases “user journey maps.”

Now, when you design your app, website or software product to engage the person that has to use it every day-- around their tasks (and not merely to satisfy regulatory requirements) the end users/patients will find the information presented to be easy to understand, useful to them, and they will freely engage with your system.

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