Usability testing and the future of health IT

Poor health IT usability has been cited as a large source of clinician professional dissatisfaction because interfaces are time-consuming and interfere with patient care

A study sponsored by the American Medical Association found that physicians point to the current state of Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology and poor usability as a large source of professional dissatisfaction because they are too time-consuming and interfere with face-to-face patient care.

During a recent panel discussion on “What needs to change to get doctors back to the patient,” Dr. Adam Landman, CMIO of Health Information, Innovation & Integration at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, noted the “usability of EHRs has gained increased prominence because as they have proliferated, it has become very apparent that current ones limit efficiency.”  He continued, explaining “We are always looking for ways to improve the experience and efficiency, and usability is a prime target.”  Dr. Landman shared that his facility has started testing EHR prototypes in a simulation center where clinicians take care of a test patient and then evaluate what worked well and what didn’t work so well.  The end goal he explained was, “an EHR that is as usable as your iPhone.”

To support clinical innovations, Landman shared that they are hosting a “Shark Tank-like event” at Brigham & Women’s on April 28th where dueling startup companies showcase clinical innovations in the hopes of winning a pilot at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.  One of the contenders in this event, Care Thread, uses Nuance’s embedded speech recognition to make communication between providers via text that much easier.

We are clearly on the cusp of changing how clinicians and their patients interact with health technology.  Involving the end user –our physicians– is critical to developing solutions that ease the burden of regulatory demands and streamline their non-clinical day-to-day requirements.

Tags: , ,