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."

Usability, Accessibility and Telehealth need to be BFFs

A while ago there were two healthcare conferences that we attended here in Washington DC on the same day. One was the American Telehealth Association’s Fall forum and the other was The Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR)’s Accessibility and Usability in Health Information Technology (HIT)

The best error message is one that you don't have to show!

Avoid errors by providing embedded assistance on more complex controls.

Deep within many of the systems we evaluated lies a complex, and sometimes non-standard UI control feature that is critical to performing an important task.

In the ONC 2014 Edition Summative tests, this control was usually related to the “Clinical information reconciliation task.” The control was usually some type of “Shuttle” widget where the user selects multiple items from one or more lists and places them into a single reconciled list (of Problems, Allergies, and Medications)

Let's sort this out!

A common usability problem that we've seen in many of the EHRs that we've evaluated is that default sort settings are the same for every list

Most of these systems seemed to have an ascending alphabetical sort (Things are sorted from A to Z) for all or most of the lists of items that are provided.

Developers often tell us that they set the sort order the same in each list so that there is a consistency across the application.