Shouldn't the emphasis be on how well the product works? The features list? Ease of installation, platform compatibility, training and support, the price? Usability – like “user-centered” and “look and feel” - sounds so... touchy-feely, non-measurable, and, well, vague. Can’t users choose an EHR based on solid engineering and trust they will adapt to it? The answer is a resounding No.
Research shows that busy physicians, nurses and technicians prefer EHR’s that rate higher in standard usability tests. Here are some other reasons:
Again, the answer is No. All vendors listen to their users, but most users lack the experience or knowledge of what’s possible or truly usable. After the system is installed, when the complaints start rolling in, it’s too late. Usability studies have turned up legions of sad stories about surprisingly unusable products and dysfunctional functionalities - and that’s why usability has come to be recognized as crucial to success.
Usability testing is a refined methodology, based on years of research in cognitive science, and it can identify issues central to usability: learnability, efficiency, and user satisfaction.