Usability Begins With The User

By the EHR Association’s Clinician Experience Workgroup

world usability day logoToday is World Usability Day. On November 14, events around the globe celebrate how developers can make our world easier for all with technology that works to harness human potential. This year’s World Usability Day theme, “Design for the Future We Want,” is inspired by the United Nation’s (UN’s) 17 Sustainable Development Goals—number three on the list is health and wellness. 

EHRA has scheduled its next Usability Summit for January 29, 2020 in Washington DC

Incorporating user-centered design into health IT contributes to better patient care by considering individual users’ preferred style, vocabulary, information visualization, and workflow in software development decisions. The goal is for EHRs to not only be usable, but helpful, such as by integrating clinical decision support, PDMPs, e-Prescribing, and other technology into clinicians’ workflows.

Even with CMS’ efforts to reduce regulatory burden with its “Patients Over Paperwork” initiative, we still can’t remove all the screens and checkboxes required by regulators and payers, but our goal is to understand from users how and when to show those screens to lessen their intrusiveness.  

Announcing Our Next Usability Summit

Usability twitter postThe future that EHR developers want is interoperable, intuitive health IT systems that enable clinicians to provide the best patient care possible. That’s why we’ve chosen today to announce that EHRA has scheduled its next Usability Summit for January 29, 2020 in Washington DC. We hope that the proximity of this date and location to the ONC Annual Meeting will encourage healthcare provider groups, clinicians, user experience designers and researchers to add a day to their stay in our Nation’s Capitol. 

Like our past Usability Summits, during one of which we created the EHRA Persona Library, this year’s Usability Summit will be an interactive event, with every participant contributing to the outcome. The 2020 Summit will focus on Journey Mapping

What is Journey Mapping?

Journey mapping is a process that provides a holistic view of the user experience by uncovering moments of both frustration and delight throughout a series of interactions. The process of creating a journey forces conversation and an aligned mental model for the whole group. Done successfully, it reveals opportunities to address users’ pain points, alleviate fragmentation and, ultimately, create a better outcome for users.

Journey maps focus on the experiences of the user including:

  • Who are they? (This is where Personas come in)
  • Where are they?
  • When are they using the technology? 
  • Under what circumstances? 
  • How do they interact with it?
  • What do they need it to do? 

We will focus our attention on the most timely and relevant user journeys for EHRs including:

  • Sending electronic clinical data to other providers in a timely fashion (referrals, hospital admissions, etc.)
  • Submitting electronic prior authorizations
  • Submitting CQM data electronically to CMS for MIPS or other QPPs
  • Querying a PDMP prior to electronically prescribing a controlled substance
  • Requesting medication history data for a patient

Attendees will have the opportunity to suggest other journeys important to their own needs or those of the users they serve. The outcome of this activity will be a set of user journeys that will be a published resource for the entire health IT community.

Save The Date!

We hope many of you will join us on January 29th. Save-the-date information is going out to past participants, with more details to come in December. While space is limited, we encourage others who would like more information to let us know here.

#WorldUsabilityDay is an opportunity for our community to come together to recognize the importance of improving the user experience of our software for doctors, medical staff, and patients. What is the health IT future that YOU want?

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