Many US physicians have shifted to Electronic Health Records (EHRs) with others joining them at a rapid pace. However, usability and decrease in efficiency are some of the reasons for physicians’ dissatisfaction with the technology. As a matter of fact, providers need to play a pivotal role in fixing the issues for physicians and making their products more user-friendly.
Here are some of the workflow flaws which providers need to iron out in order to improve physician satisfaction through technology.
Unnatural: Most EHRs are built in a way that they do not match practices’ workflow. Instead of allowing physicians to customize the product in a way that it suits their needs, physicians complain that they are required to change their workflows to match technology. This is something that is leading to frustration and inefficiency.
Inconsistent: EHRs are built with a structure that is largely inconsistent. If physicians are looking to access similar information within one system, there may be two or more ways to do it based on which module is being used. This inconsistency is only adding to physicians’ problems.
Irrelevant: One of the most commonly faced problems by physicians is the interface. In most of the modules, only some information is mandatory while the other ones can be skipped. This results in overwhelming screens with aplenty tiny check boxes – sometimes almost unnecessarily.
Unsupportive: Many modern day EHRs fail to support user-shared mental models of workflow. One of the very few benefits of paper-based workflow is that documents and forms can clearly represent a workflow. If something is missing in a chart, it needs to be filled out by the person holding the document. Compare this to EHRs and we find that workflow state is hidden in databases and complex screens.
Inflexible: One of the biggest problems EHR users face is the lack of the software ability to be flexible. Users of the system have to make do with the inbuilt workflow or rely on the way it was installed when being deployed. They cannot easily be changed to become more flexible, natural, consistent and supportive.