Evaluating Usability to Drive Intelligent Decisions


Improving healthcare for the digital age requires a willingness to apply new tech to established challenges. This is even truer for chronic diseases, where innovations in care and treatment can dramatically improve a person’s quality of life.

Electronic medical records (EMR) can significantly improve intelligent care coordination. They help doctors track complex medications, treatments, and comorbid conditions to develop a holistic picture of the needs of patients managing chronic illness like HIV. However, there is still a need for improved processes and systems to develop effective EMRs.

Understanding user experience

To address this need, HITLAB partnered with a developer who was ready to overhaul their software for their HIV-specific EMR system. We conducted qualitative and quantitative usability assessments with clinicians at HIV clinics across the United States.

Our analysis challenged established assumptions around EMRs as an HIV management tool, and identified previously unrecognized gaps in the clinical space. As a result, the developer was able to prioritize the resources they needed to build out, and focus attention on the critical issues impacting both patient and practitioner experience with the EMR.

When in doubt, ask the user

Our study underscored the need for developers of disease management technologies to assess usability with direct buy-in and feedback from users. For a deeper look into the insights we discovered (and the ideas we challenged), you can access the full copy of the study at the Health Informatics Journal