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.

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.

Usability is the most important "ility."

The lack of usability of electronic health records (EHRs) and healthcare IT applications, in general, has been in the news again. A research report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analyzed voluntary error reports associated with EHR systems and found that problems with EHR usability may have directly resulted in patient harm (Howe JL ; Adams KT ; Hettinger AZ; et al. Electronic health record usability issues and potential contribution to patient harm. JAMA. 2018; 319: 1276-1278).

Let Dr.s be Doctors?

Let's all remember that before Electronic Health Records (EHRs ) were prevalent, medical staff, pharmacists, and others had to struggle to decipher physician's orders, prescriptions and other hand-written (aka. scribbled) text. By using EHRs the burden of entering correct information into a form has fallen back on to the physician.

Still "Let doctors be doctors" they say.

EHRs typically do have a lot of "areas for improvement."

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