Hurdles Remain With EHR Usability
Friday, February 26th, 2021

A recently released paper in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association showed that although electronic health record vendors have shown impressive levels of progress, EHR accessibility still appears to be a significant obstacle. The paper analyzed four unidentified EHR vendors’ accessibility practices to assess the extent of the issue.

The authors mentioned the basic qualification criteria of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT refer to the product as developed by the vendor. Once that product is in the hands of the actual, real-world users, it can be a radically different experience.

An emphasis on end-users of the product, the significance of knowing the sense of use, and the inclusion of customer input during product creation were identified by all four vendors. A few have also begun to evaluate the various socio-technical structures that can influence EHR usability, such as the organization’s employees, hardware, applications, and community.

However, as most healthcare institutions do not have ample or properly qualified personnel to best configure and monitor their product for usability or safety, frontline clinicians engage with a system that could be significantly contrasting from what the manufacturer initially tested.

For years, EHR usability is something manufacturers have had to contend with, with a Mayo Clinic report relating it to clinician burnout in 2019.

According to the authors, the usability of existing EHR systems was ranked “F” by physician users when tested using a standard usability metric. For all stakeholders, including manufacturers, healthcare providers, researchers, and patients who all have shared responsibility for successful EHR technology, it will be critical to continue to keep accessibility a top priority and ensure safety continues to be paramount.

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This update is provided by CareOptimize. We provide healthcare management consulting services and products, managed care solutions, value-based expertise, Nextgen EHR utilities, MIPS consulting, and more. CareOptimize has helped numerous healthcare organizations succeed for more than a decade. For more information, please call 855.937.8475.