Thought Leadership

Personalization of Patient Portals : a way to achieve engagement and true meaningful use

In the proposed rule for Meaningful Use Stage 3 the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) has made significant changes to the patient engagement recommendations that are causing controversy amongst EHR vendors, Doctors, and the media. These recommendations include three measures of engagement, and providers would have to report on all three of them, but successfully meet thresholds on only two.

Some claim that these requirements are too burdensome, and that they may not be achievable giving what is achievable in the marketplace today.

Patient Engagement, Usability, and Meaningful Use Stage 3

Patient Engagement

Patient engagement was a very hot topic at the recent HIMSS conference in Chicago. There was no shortage of exhibitors promoting their patient engagement tools and there were also several presentations that contained suggestions for better engaging patients. Some exhibitors that we spoke to were not aware of the proposed patient engagement rules (described below) and were very excited at the prospect of greater use of their tools.

Interoperability, Usability, and Meaningful Use Stage 3

Some rumblings from over two years ago

Satisfaction and usability ratings for certified electronic health records (EHRs) have decreased since 2010 among clinicians across a range of indicators.” This announcement was made two years ago the 2013 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference & Exhibition by Michael S. Barr, MD, MBA, FACP. His presentation highlighted “ the need for the Meaningful Use program and EHR manufacturers to focus on improving EHR features and usability.

Gamification and the diagnosis of Learning Disabilities

Last week during one of our favorite tweetchats (#HITSM -- Fridays at 12noon Eastern) the topic of gamification in Healthcare came up.

Gamification has been a fairly hot topic for a few years now, and many industries are scrambling to understand it, and to find ways that they can use gamification to improve client engagement in their product(s)

Wikipedia defines Gamification as

Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems and increase users' self contributions.

Hick’s and Fitt’s laws: Two important psychological principles to consider when designing navigational menu structures

Most web-based or mobile applications are organized in some type of hierarchical menu structure. Company information is usually located in an ‘about us’ tab, Products and Services each have a tab, etc.

Some company websites, for example, provide a menu structure that is initially simple, but then may require several more interactions to navigate down the tree to the target information.

See for example Verizon.com:

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.'

Section 508 and User-Centered Design

We've often blogged about Section 508 compliance as a means to convince very engineering-centric developers to consider their users.

Accessible designs work for everyone - see also Universal Design. Ever use a curb-cut?

By thinking about a disabled user and designing a solution that works for them, developers adopt a user-centered design strategy without even knowing it.

It is an excellent foot-in-the-door for designing for an admin user, a casual user, the sales team, an expert user, and many of other personas associated with the solution.

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