EMR Vendors Stress Usability to Attract Physicians

Going back to my beginnings in the new field of building “user-friendly” software in the early 1980’s, usability began a long history as a potential product differentiator in a competitive field.

Now, with the onset of a multitude of EMR software programs coming to market now and in the next few years, software vendors are now marketing usability as a key feature of their products.

The real question is, are their products really more usable than their competitor’s? I’ve designed a number of EMR’s and electronic field data collection systems, and I know that most of the EMR’s I’ve seen have been far less than usable!

Here’s what vendors are supposedly focusing on to improve their product’s usability:

  1. Reducing click counts and the time it takes to accomplish tasks
  2. Improving screen-design elements
  3. Creating consistencies in screen designs
  4. Reducing information overload
  5. Reducing alert fatigue
  6. Matching system flow to workflow
  7. Building forgiveness into data entry

However, following a usability checklist does not guarantee a product’s usability. Product design involves many iterative stages and activities, including user research, prototyping and design, and user testing.

A recent review of EMR usability is worth a read at amednews.com – Check it out!

One Response to EMR Vendors Stress Usability to Attract Physicians

  1. Electronic Medical Records says:

    Hi, there is no doubt that healthcare it solutions like emr are changing the face of the healthcare industry, however, usability is a very important issues. The vendors has to ensure that the system is fully-functional and simple so that the ultimate benefits can be derived.

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