How not to design an EHR

Over engineering an EHR

Electronic Health Records are now increasingly in use in the West. India despite its IT might is lagging behind for reasons discussed elsewhere. However, one of the issues with use of EHR’s is poor User Interface¬† (U/I) that burdens the clinician no end. It is a mistake made easily i.e. to go over board with engineering solutions in an attempt to solving a problem that was never a problem.

Examples from my own experience of using badly designed EHR systems in the UK of the above kind would include –

  • An interface that sends me from one screen to another before an end is in sight.
  • Creating a Risk Assessment tool with 100 mandatory fields!
  • Creating a drug administration chart where a few minutes delay in dispensing requires a nurse to spend time rationalising the delay.
  • Creating Outcome Measures and Clinical Rating Tools but not automating the scoring.
  • Over emphasis on use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which runs on computational algorithms and can do lot of clever stuff except for have empathy towards the patient.
  • Over indulgence in use of Coding APIs and interfaces such as SNOMED CT for writing simple progress notes entries resulting in use of search boxes, having to decide which of the dozens of related terms to choose from and then clicking/adding and saving them to a myriad of disconnected sections.
  • Creating a check box culture for the managers who sit at a distance feeling comfortable in quantitative graphs that can be tweaked for sake of tweaking (completely different from genuine R&D that a good EHR can empower and speed up).
  • Failure to talk to other systems and other Applications with ease.

The PTS EHR has an Intuitive design

We have instead sought an approach that keeps it simple and makes note keeping, search and retrieval of notes focal to our EHR Application. Designed by Clinicians for Clinicians the Patient Tracker EHR is a bespoke adaptation that would suit a busy Indian Doctors Surgery, Practice, Clinic or Hospital.

Drop us a line to find out more

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