Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Could Your Electronic Health Record Function Without Workarounds?

The Electronic Health Record is a complex tool that hopefully improves communication, fix the legibility issue, and decrease medical errors.  However, the "Devil is always in the details".

Wikipedia states a workaround is a bypass of a recognized problem in a system.  A workaround is typically a temporary fix that implies a genuine solution to the problem is needed.  But workarounds are frequently as creative as true solutions, involving outside the box thinking in their creation.

Computer software that causes a computer to perform useful tasks beyond running the computer itself is called Application software, program, or app.

A GUI widget or control is an element of a Graphical user interface- GUI that displays information arrangement changeable by the user, such as a window or text box.  The defining characteristic of a widget is to provide a single interaction point for the direct manipulation of a given kind of data.

A true test of your EHR is:
  1. How many workarounds, apps and widgets are necessary additions to make the program usable?
  2. Are these add-ons value added or desperately needed to succeed?
These include some of the following resources: Scribes, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Medical Assistants, Voice activated technology, Cut and paste, Macros, Typing courses, Artificial intelligence, Warnings, Error notifications, etc.

Some of these additions can add major value superimposed on an efficient, walk-up usable computer program.  The problem is they are necessary at great cost to survive the electronic world.

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