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Usability Analysis of a Community Hospital Electronic Health Record

Authors: Khurram Shahzad

Primary Advisor: Dean. F. Sittig, PhD

Committee Members: John W. Riggs, MD

Masters thesis, The University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics at Houston.


There has been more emphasis given to meaningful use and ICD-10 initiatives whereas usability has often been overlooked in health IT. Hospitals and providers alike are playing catch up with meaningful use stage 1. Electronic health records have the potential to enhance workflow efficiency by reducing the number of usability errors and maximizing user interaction. Poor usability and interface design can lead to frustrated users and errors. Though not intentional, some of these systems fail to achieve this potential due to various usability issues. It is important to identify these usability issues and address the same. In this paper we will analyze and evaluate the current design, visibility, and efficiency of the system. The tabs of an electronic health record associated to the labor and delivery admission documentation process will be evaluated using a human-centered evaluation method called TURF and a basic heuristic evaluation. Based on the evaluation, we will successfully be able to discuss factors that can help in reducing the cognitive complexity of the screens and achieving improved usability.