Learning Goal: I’m working on a nursing question and need guidance to help me learn.
In this assignment, you will use usability principles to evaluate an EHR, a website, an application, or a health IT product/device. The principles of usability can for the most part be universally applied to anything that humans interact with. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) described usability as what helps clinicians achieve the desired goals in an efficient, effective, and satisfactory manner. When a product is not efficient, effective, or cannot be done in a satisfactory manner it is said to have usability problems.
Incorporating usability principles into the design and development of clinical software applications is imperative to promote patient safety and quality enhancements, as dissatisfaction and poor usability are associated with errors that compromise patient safety (Middleton et al., 2013).
Choose a product to evaluate its level of usability. If you can obtain permission, conduct your evaluation on the EHR system that you are currently using in your work. If an EHR is not a viable option, you can use an application, a health IT product/device, or a website to perform your usability test.
Select an appropriate test (tool) that has been specifically designed to evaluate the product you are testing (i.e., are you going to conduct a Heuristic evaluation, use the System Usability Scale (SUS), or employ a different type of tool?).
Conduct your usability evaluation of the product you have selected.
Summarize your findings. Include your rationale for using the tool you selected. Evaluate how well the EHR or other product incorporated the following facets of usability:
Address how well the product met each of the 10 usability heuristics for user interface design by Jakob Nielsen.
- Visibility of system status – The design should always keep users informed about what is going on through appropriate feedback within a reasonable amount of time.
- Match between system and the real world – The design should speak the users’ language. Use words, phrases, and concepts familiar to the user, rather than internal jargon. Follow real-world conventions, making information appear in a natural and logical order.
- User control and freedom – Users often perform actions by mistake. They need a clearly marked “emergency exit” to leave the unwanted action without having to go through an extended process.
- Consistency and standards – Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Follow platform and industry conventions.
- Error prevention – Good error messages are important, but the best designs carefully prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action.
- Recognition rather than recall – Minimize the user’s memory load by making elements, actions, and options visible. The user should not have to remember information from one part of the interface to another. Information required to use the design (e.g., field labels or menu items) should be visible or easily retrievable when needed.
- Flexibility and efficiency of use – Shortcuts – hidden from novice users – may speed up the interaction for the expert user such that the design can cater to both inexperienced and experienced users. Allow users to tailor frequent actions.
- Aesthetic and minimalist design – Interfaces should not contain information that is irrelevant or rarely needed. Every extra unit of information in an interface competes with the relevant units of information and diminishes their relative visibility.
- Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors – Error messages should be expressed in plain language (no error codes), precisely indicate the problem, and constructively suggest a solution.
- Help and documentation – It’s best if the system doesn’t need any additional explanation. However, it may be necessary to provide documentation to help users understand how to complete their tasks.
Choose one of the following options as the method for completing the assignment:
- 10- to 12-slide Microsoft PowerPoint presentation with speaker notes.
Include a minimum of 3 professional resources to support your work.