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Choosing an EHR for its Usability

Choosing an EHR for its Usability

“The usability of the system is probably the most important factor in making an informed choice of which EHR to use for your practice. Most every bit of software says that it is easy to use, but how can you choose an EHR that is actually usable?

We recommend choosing an EHR that is ONC certified. The MU2 certification program required that EHR vendors have a user-centered design approach, and submit a summative usability evaluation as part of their §170.314(g)(3) Safety-enhanced design certification submission. These usability documents are made available to the public on the CHPL site.

Look at the published usability document for the EHR that you are considering. The first thing that you should look at is the SUS. The System Usability Scale (SUS) is a simple, 10-item Likert-type attitude scale providing a global subjective assessment of usability from the user’s perspective (John Brooke at Digital Equipment Company developed the SUS in 1986). The SUS scale is scored from 0 to 100; scores under 60 represent systems with poor usability, scores over 80 are considered better than average.

Think of the SUS like your high school math tests, above 60 percent is passing, 80 percent is a “B” , etc. The rating gives a very accurate indication of the overall usability of the system. Stay away from an EHR that gets less than a 60.

The next thing we recommend you take a look at in the report is the average overall completion rate. The percentage of tasks were successfully completed by the participants in the study gives an accurate gauge of the ease-of use of the system when performing common data entry tasks…”

 

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