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Designing for Usability

Interface design in modern health IT has come to mean User-Centered Design (UCD).  In this iterative approach to design, the user is a major part of the process from first to last. The product life cycle starts with an understanding of users and their working environment, then proceeds through design, development and evaluation. Designers and engineers don’t simply make assumptions about how users are likely to use a product, they use scenarios, create use cases and test their predictions with actual users, with formative assessment techniques.

Today we’ve moved beyond what might be called product-centered engineering. Today’s designers apply the findings of decades of cognitive science, the accumulated knowledge of human factors, ergonomics, and usability methodology. Now the focus is on the people who will use the product in their work, day in and day out, to get the job done effectively, efficiently and with maximum satisfaction.

In this section, we present a number of resources to guide the development of EHRs. Please use the links to the left to review our guidelines, inspirational prototypes, and other ideas about EHR design. 

SHARPC has developed several different types of guidelines designed to assist developers in designing EHRs that ease the cognitive work of healthcare providers. 

These include:

What is a guideline?

Guidelines refer to a set of rules or principles by which to set standards or determine a course of action. The rule or principle has to base upon a theoretical basis, common sense or justification with either empirical studies or proper examples.

The guidelines for design of EHR system should offer both novice and expert designers an explicit roadmap for developing a user-centered EHR system. The guidelines serve industrial vendors by reminding them of the wide range and practical issues that directly or indirectly hinder meaningful use (MU) objectives at stages.

The Guidelines for the design of EHR have to be distinct from the design guidelines in general. They should accommodate and concentrate on features that are domain specific and health professional centered. The descriptive granularity of guidelines should be neither too broad nor too detailed. Rather, they are instructional, concrete and flexible to target and solve problems against the MU objectives. Guidelines are not a comprehensive academic theory or fully validated by empirical studies, but they should reach a common agreement among of team members and be presented with proper justifications and examples.

Guideline Compilation Methods

Guideline Compilation Results

Please note:The content provided here are intended as guidelines (recommended, but not mandatory) for design and implementation, not as standards (mandatory, minimum requirements). SHARPC Logo