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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. 

 

Usability and User Experience is a team sport!

Usability and user experience teams have traditionally been way understaffed and often under-utilized.

Usability teams that I have led in the past have had to beg, borrow, or steal resources in order to achieve the significant gains in user productivity, user satisfaction (and reduction of user errors) for the software systems of the many companies and organizations that I’ve worked with.

Error message Errors - Don't blame the user

One of the easiest ways to improve the usability (and perceived usability) of a web application is to improve the text that appears on the screen specifically around labels, embedded assistance and error messages.

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).

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