Usability as the Essence of EHR Adoption Program

We all know that EHR adoption is encouraged in the healthcare industry and the incentives that the government is willing to give help speed up the conversion process. However, adopting an EHR is just the beginning of the process. The conversion process isn’t complete until all healthcare providers implement it in their practices and keep using it. This requires that the implemented web based EHR technology is easily usable.  However, most EHR vendors do not systematically conduct EHR usability testing.

The National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making (NCCIDM) in Healthcare noted that only a handful of EHR vendors have in-house teams working on usability issues.

Usability is one of the top barriers for physicians to adopt EHRs. While the research is ongoing, many EHR vendors don’t have much of an R&D budget on product usability.  The NCCIDM research suggests that EHR vendors should consider this point and make strategic investments to address their workflow shortcomings.

With the advent of the federal incentive program, the scrutiny of web based EHRs software has increased. Along with it comes the need to make investments in usability, which will be the first step towards sustainability and growth in the healthcare industry.