Quick note: Usability of Electronic Health Records

ucRelated to my previous rant blog post on the un-usability of electronic health records, usability consulting company User Centric has just released two white papers on the usability of these systems.

Just for clarification, electronic health records (EHRs) are what the doctor uses to manage your test results, etc., and personal health records (PHRs) are what consumers use to manage their own health information:

How to Select an Electronic Health Record System that Healthcare Professionals Can Use

This article reviews implementation and procurement guidelines for EHRs and found that emphasis on the usability of these systems is low. The focus is on integration and technology with little to no attention on the actual usability of the system. One key barrier to implementation is basic usability and productivity concerns. User Centric took a look at dozens of Requests for Proposal and procurement guidelines for EHRs to learn how usability was addressed. We found only three addressed user experience. The white paper, “How to Select an Electronic Health Record System that Healthcare Professionals Can Use,” presents an approach for specifying usability requirements and assessing EHR systems relative to these requirements.

For the abstract, download the white paper.

Google Health vs. Microsoft HealthVault: Consumers Compare Online PHR Applications

Our research uncovered some interesting findings when consumers compared Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault. In fact, this research prompted User Centric to develop guidelines for personal health record applications to facilitate user adoption. For a complete list of these guidelines, visit http://www.usercentric.com/publications/2009/01/phr-recommendations/

Download the white paper “Usability Guidance for Improving the User Interface and Adoption of Online Personal Health Records,”

3 thoughts on “Quick note: Usability of Electronic Health Records”

  1. That is quite surprising! I just read the report and perceived or actual usability was not listed as a barrier to adoption. But I suspect usability issues are embedded in the numbers for “maintenance costs” and “inadequate IT staff”.

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