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The term usability has a profound effect on the hit being used within a facility.

by | Sep 15, 2022 | Nursing

 

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The term Usability has a profound effect on the HIT being used within a facility. The importance of Usability for healthcare providers can not be over emphasized. It effects the the efficiency/delay of patient care, it can effect organization of patient data and reflect the level of ease versus frustration of healthcare staff utilizing the HIT. “Well-designed systems can improve individuals’ performance to increase patient safety, reduce errors, increase productivity, and improve cognitive support” (Hebdo et al., 2019).

I have been fortunate to use several different HIT and have found that some indeed have more usability than others. For example, one of the highest rated charting system in my area for Usability is Epic. This system is praised for ease of use by staff and gives a stunning visual of the overall patient condition on the homepage. I have spoken with nurses who specifically search out job positions at facilities that use this charting program because of its high usability. In contrast I have met nurses that will turn down position at a facility because the Usability of the charting system has a poor reputation. However I do believe that everything becomes easier with practice, and charting systems such as Epic are extremely expensive, for a small community hospital this may not be a practical move in financial decisions.

A large motivation to improve Usability is directed towards patient safety. Examples include miss reading an order due to a confusing display or an incorrect order being placed due to difficultly in navigating the system. “Identifying the specific HIT usability and safety hazards associated with patient harm can be challenging given that HIT is now intertwined with the care delivery process and many hazards that may be associated with HIT may not be easily related back to the HIT system”(Fong & et. al, 2019). When a HIT has high Usability it can help eliminate near misses or patient events by being a safety verification step for healthcare workers.

For my charting system at work my biggest criticism is in the Orders section, which is not organized by most recent or by current active orders. In this section there can be an order from 5 days ago that is no longer relevant, right next to the most current order. It would be easy for a nurse to miss read the dates and carry out old orders or to miss the most current order altogether. If the Usability was improved in our system, and the orders could at least be organized by date increasing the likelihood of the correct order being followed.

 

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