How Providers are Achieving EHR Usability

Scott Mace, September 29, 2015

While governments and groups gnash their teeth and craft future policy concerning electronic health record usability, providers are turning to overlay software to recast EHR workflow.

While governments and groups gnash their teeth and craft future policy concerning electronic health record usability, providers are turning to overlay software to recast EHR workflow.

This article first appeared in the June 2015 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Electronic health records are doing more than ever, but providers are challenged like never before to find ways to make them easier to work with and more productive; in short, more usable.

In January, the American Medical Association, joined by 34 other medical professional organizations including the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, told government regulators there is an urgent need to change the current federal EHR certification program to better align end-to-end testing to focus on EHR usability, interoperability, and safety. CMS has even recommended enhanced user-centered design principles in the 2015 EHR certification criteria proposed in conjunction with meaningful use stage 3.

"A lot of the traditional design in a lot of these legacy systems was never really built to encompass the full range of physician documentation and order entry."

While governments and groups gnash teeth and craft future policy concerning EHR usability, providers are turning to overlay software—some of it powered by speech input, some of it running on simplified tablet-based desktop or mobile user interfaces—to recast EHR workflow.

"A lot of the traditional design in a lot of these legacy systems was never really built to encompass the full range of physician documentation and order entry," says Brian Yeaman, MD, chief medical information officer of the Norman Physician Hospital Organization at Norman (Oklahoma) Regional Health System, a multicampus system with more than 3,000 employees.

Scott Mace

Scott Mace is the former senior technology editor for HealthLeaders Media. He is now the senior editor, custom content at H3.Group.

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