Dr. Rose Kenny has worked as a Clinical Informatician at the Family Care Center in Redmond, Oregon since 2002, which means she spends much of her time working with patients’ Electronic Health Records (EHRs). A good EHR allows the user to quickly find the information that is needed for the patient, which means usability is crucial when designing them.
The following are all ways to define usability in an EHR.
The User Interface
The EHR’s user-interface will be the first thing that people see when trying to access the record, so it needs to be as accessible as possible. The main issue for many here is clutter. Having too much information on the screen at once can make the record difficult to read, which results in more time being taken to find important information.
Consider the Clicks
To counter this clutter, EHRs are often divided into segments that can be accessed through mouse clicks or via a touchscreen interface. Medical professionals will want to access information in as few clicks as possible, so the EHR should be designed to allow for quick data entry and a minimal amount of searching. Focus on navigation and work with those who use the EHRs regularly to define the workflow.
Allow For Typed Notes
A good EHR will also allow physicians to record specifics about their patients outside of the general information that the system asks for. The system should allow for free writing where needed, rather than restricting users to only recording certain types of information.
Dr. Rose Kenny is an experienced physician who studied Clinical Informatics at Kansas University Medical Center in 2015.