- Simple EHR/EMR design helps patients and physicians to navigate through the system seamlessly, they’re alerted in case of errors in prescriptions or documentation.
- A user-friendly EMR/EHR interface requires standards and conventions that are understood by everyone. For example, consistent display of line spacing, font, standard formats, relevant information, page lengths, letter spacing, etc.
- Develop an EHR interface that reduces users’ memory load by saving information from previous data entries and forms. Create checklists, default values, generic rules (like drag objects), and hierarchical structures to reduce users’ memory load.
EMR/EHR interface design is the overall look and feel of the electronic health records system. The more features or functionalities, the more challenging it is to build a simple EHR interface design. Poor interface design results in administrative burden, and eventually becomes one of the reasons for physician burnout.
Research by the JAMA Network pointed out that physicians experienced fatigue at least once and 80 percent experienced fatigue in the first 22 minutes of using EHR. Physician fatigue was associated with aspects like high click rates and several EHR screens visited. Several mouse clicks, logging, and screen time can be reduced by improving the EHR interface design.
Importance of Designing a Simple EHR Interface
A simple EHR interface design results in a higher engagement from both patients and healthcare providers because it ensures smooth transactions between departments and easy patient access. Simple EHR design helps patients and physicians to navigate through the system seamlessly, they’re alerted in case of errors in prescriptions or documentation.
Further, a user-friendly EHR interface also allows users to customize their system as per their taste, for instance, colors, voice recognition features, and notification settings. Apart from this, a simple EMR design reduces developmental costs because there’s no need to embed complex functionalities or features in the system, and the time taken to build the interface drops too.
Furthermore, an easy interface is created on a unified workflow platform that allows stakeholders and clients seamless interoperability. Additionally, an easy interface increases the productivity of physicians as their click rate and the time spent on documentation work drops, allowing them to spend more time with their patients.
14 Principles for Creating a User-Friendly EHR Interface
The following design principles will help to create a simple and user-friendly EHR interface for healthcare providers and patients. Every EHR developer/vendor must take note of these principles to create an EHR that includes complex functionalities and suits healthcare organizations.
Actions, words, or situations should mean the same thing throughout the EHR development cycle. Standards and conventions must be followed during EHR/EMR design. For example, consistent display of line spacing, font, standard formats, relevant information, page lengths, letter spacing, etc.
Visibility highlights the state of the electronic health records system. It tells the users about what’s going on in the system through continuous display of information and feedback. For instance, displaying loading, progress, and searching indicators on the screen; telling users where to go next, and changes made after an action.
The image or items in an EHR system should match or be placed as per the guidance and standards of the real world, only to facilitate users’ performance. For example, placing the primary menu on the left side or displaying charts in a standard way.
Extra content can be a distraction for the users, so it must be avoided to ensure efficient action. Additionally, showcasing too much information can diminish the visibility of relevant information. For instance, users who are looking for medical records are also presented with payment options, Even though payments are essential it has nothing to do with what the user is looking for, thus creating distraction and hampering the original task.
Reduce users’ memory load by saving information from previous data entries and forms. Create checklists, default values, generic rules (like drag objects), and hierarchical structures to reduce users’ memory load.
Users are given prompt feedback about their actions. It includes sending alerts if users’ actions are incorrect or can cause errors. For example, if a provider prescribes warfarin for a patient on aspirin, the system sends alerts about warfarin and aspirin interaction.
Allow users to customize electronic health records to minimize the time spent on completing tasks, for example, add voice recognition, turn off features, incorporate shortcuts, etc.
Messages inform about errors and if seen often users may click through them without reading. So, avoid displaying messaging too often. Ensure to leave messages in a way that users understand, and avoid codes and vague messages.
9. Prevent Errors
Design an EHR interface that prevents errors from happening. Anticipate user errors and reduce their occurrence. Try to eliminate error-prone conditions, for example, inappropriate selection of items or data entries.
Every task has a beginning and an end. Users should be notified clearly about the completion of an action on the EHR. Construct EHR design so that it offers users transparent feedback about task completion.
Reversibility allows users to recover from errors and prevents serious damage to the EHR. Reversible actions in an EHR interface design can range from single to multiple tasks.
Use understandable language while designing the EHR interface, use familiar words, and avoid jargon or made-up words. Avert from using confusing words and ensure that the system comprehends the meaning of the chosen words.
EHR should give the impression to the users that they are in control of the system and not the other way around. An example that goes against this rule is Autofill.
This principle allows users to solve their queries or complex problems while using the EHR software.
User-friendly EMR interfaces are essential for the efficient use of the system and the overall efficiency of the hospital. Only when an EMR is user-friendly can it be adopted with minimal friction and learning, leading to higher levels of patient and physician satisfaction. Simplify EHR interfaces by keeping all components consistent, intuitively presenting information, and providing adequate instruction on how to enter different types of information and complete tasks.
If you’re looking to develop a simple and user-friendly EMR/EHR interface design, then get in touch with Arkenea, one of the leading healthcare software development companies in the USA.