Thought Leadership

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."

Seven plus or minus 2 things the Health IT Industry should know about Cognitive Psychology

The capacity of the human brain to process information has remained not changed—even as the number of types of users for software-based Internet connected devices has increased at an exponential rate. The field of psychology, especially cognitive psychology has, among other things, focused on understanding the processes by which we store information, make decisions, and communicate with others.

Gamification of Patient Portals -- a method for Increasing Engagement

One of the great things about living near a “destination city” such as Washington DC is that friends and relatives often come to visit.

My niece also recently just turned 21, and was celebrating her birthday. One thing that they both wanted to do was to go to a casino. Luckily about an hour or so north was Arundel Mills, an outlet shopping destination and (non-smoking) casino.

User-Centered Design (aka. Design Thinking) for Healthcare IT Usability Improvement

The usability (or lack thereof) of Healthcare IT has been in the news a lot again.

This time a research report published in JAMA (Howe JL ; Adams KT ; Hettinger AZ; et al. Electronic health record usability issues and potential contribution to patient harm. JAMA. 2018; 319: 1276-1278) researchers analyzed voluntary error reports associated with Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems and found that problems with EHR usability may have directly resulted in patient harm.

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)

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