For the Record Magazine Interviews Robert Schumacher About EHR Design

August 13, 2010

The current issue of For the Record (August 2, 2010) featured cover story, “Faulty Construction,” highlighting design flaws of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems.  A member of the National Research Council’s Committee on the Role of Human Factors in Home Healthcare and Co-director of the Program on Usability Enhancement in Health Information Technology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Robert Schumacher has been actively involved in developing usability criteria for these systems and is often called on to lend his expertise on the usability of this technology.

In this article he discusses user-centered design and how it can be applied to EHRs.  While the technology is feature-rich, often times the system is frustrating and unusable and not developed with the end user in mind.  Dr. Schumacher emphasizes the need for EHR developers to focus on usability as much as utility and consider designs of systems in other industries, such as finance, that have been successful. 

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