The Importance of User-centered Design in EHR Software

When was the last time you used an EHR, medical device, or medical technology that did not work the way you expected it to work? Or perhaps, you’ve recently had a bad experience with another piece of technology – a mobile phone, household appliance, or website that you just couldn’t figure out how to use.

Don’t lose heart too quickly. There is a whole group of people called “user-centered design” or “user experience” professionals that stay up late at night thinking about technology and how to make it better for you. In fact, there’s a whole day dedicated to improving your overall product experience. Today, November 14, is World Usability Day and this year’s focus is, Healthcare: Collaborating for Better Systems.

The importance of user-centered design in the healthcare industry can mean the difference between life or death. By focusing on healthcare, the goal this year is to create awareness for the challenges and lead initiatives that have long-term impacts on everyone’s quality of life.

User-centered design (UCD) has been important since day one at DocuTAP. It all began with CEO Eric McDonald observing providers and nurses and designing software to fit their needs. We have formalized our UCD process to look even deeper at how our customers utilize our software and are building a team that is focused on usability.

We currently test our software in a variety of methods—including clinic visits to observe current users, client interviews, and surveys. One of our favorite techniques is inviting people to participate in usability studies so they can give us feedback in person. We continually take the findings from all of these study types and use them to make changes to our EHR and PM software. The usability and customizability of our software is something we are very proud of, but we know there is always more to be done.

Please email us if your clinic would ever be interested in participating in one of DocuTAP’s usability studies.

This resource was first published prior to the 2019 merger between DocuTAP and Practice Velocity. The content reflects our legacy brands.