Importance of Usability and Human Factors Engineering

I had the opportunity to work with a human factors team that reported to me at a previous employer.  I saw first hand the power of human factors engineering and the critical role that usability plays in end user acceptance.  With this background in mind, I was intrigued by the following article:

http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/content/TEC-247566/Health-IT-Design-That-Keeps-EndUsers-in-Mind.html

In particular, I agree with the following comments from Ross Koppel, professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania:

  • “Most clinicians are amenable to using HIT, but the current technology systems make doing so effectively difficult.”
  • “People in IT often denigrate the clinical staff as being incompetent people. “There’s a share of blame, but my experience has been that clinicians actually want to do very good work and they find the IT to be a barrier too often.”

I suggest that usability is an area in which people looking at clinician adoption of healthcare IT must pay more attention and make greater investments. Just ask Steve Jobs about the importance of the user experience in driving adoption 🙂  There are some important lessons to be learned from Apple’s design process.

Mike

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