Physician's wish: EHR usability 'Easy as using an iPhone'

What physicians need, says Brigham & Women's Hospital CMIO Adam Landman, M.D., is a high-usability EHR that doesn't require instructions.

EHRs need a usability upgrade, said Adam Landman, M.D., chief medical information officer for Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston. His facility as well as the rest of the Partners Healthcare system currently use a home-grown EHR, but will spend $600 million on an install from Epic Systems Corp. that goes live next year.

Landman, fresh off a panel sponsored by Nuance Communications Inc. discussing the intersection of IT and physician practices, offers a frontline perspective on EHR usability in this podcast. Along with it, he has a few ideas of how to create more usable EHRs in the future, including how National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) EHR usability guidelines should fit in.

Adam Landman, M.D., Brigham & Women's Hospital CMIOAdam Landman, M.D.

While the government, be it NIST or the ONC, may have some say in EHR usability moving forward, Landman said. But he thinks a market-driven idea of physician-designed usability benchmarks could spur vendor competition for better usability. Publishing side-by-side comparisons of competing EHRs measuring them against these benchmarks might ultimately spur vendors to address EHR usability issues now and get docs to a state where EHRs are simple to use as iPhones and iPads -- which neither he nor his grandmother needed an instruction book or help file to use.

Series on 2014 plans for EHR systems

  • 2014 ONC certification standards and the looming ICD-10 deadlines have some providers worried that they are being forced to make too many significant upgrades in too short of a timeframe. Some have shortened their window for meeting compliance guidelines even more by choosing to replace their old EHR system.
  • A CIO explains how his facility has simplified its upgrade process by enlisting the same vendor's services for both clinical data and financial systems.
  • Hospital executives offer their final tips for meeting 2014 regulatory deadlines and one CIO shares why EHR upgrades should be prioritized over other, smaller projects.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Don Fluckinger, news director or contact @DonFluckinger on Twitter.

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