While much of the development of electronic health records system has gone into creating powerful systems that are capable of sharing vast quantities of medical information, a new study suggests that much more subtle features of systems may play a larger role in their success or failure.
A review of recently available information conducted by market research company Kalorama Information reveals that most users of electronic health records are far more concerned with usability. Things like keystrokes, frame size and font choice could play a larger role in making a system a success than its more technical components.
The paper cites testimony from a recent Department of Health and Human Services Information Technology Committee meeting in which users said they were frustrated by systems that made them re-enter information or that buried key data.
"How many clicks, how many screen flips, how many keystrokes? These are the micro-factors that are going to be important in physician adoption of EMR, and continued use of the systems," said Bruce Carlson, the publisher of Kalorama Information.
He added that there is a tremendous opportunity for software developers to become a major player in the electronic health records market by creating a system that satisfies these needs.