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Healthcare Information Technology Burden to Be Reduced

Healthcare Information Technology has advanced and have driven progress over the years. Two officials from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT say that the advancement has also introduced new challenges. In a blog post last week, Dr. Andrew Gettinger, ONC Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Scientist Teresa Zayas Cabán, wrote, “As adoption of health IT has increased, we have seen firsthand how usability issues associated with the underlying software, implementation choices made by practices and institutions, and lack of effective training can diminish the desired impact of health IT use.”

They also said that rectifying these issues requires attention to the improved design of healthcare information technology systems. Practical end-user training during implementation and better system configuration decisions will be required.

The Health IT’s role in clinician burnout has been a hot topic for years now. Often individuals have pointed out technology like electronic health records to be the culprit. However, as the scientist and doctors feel, there is a scope that IT is a potential asset than an obstacle.

The officials wrote in their article that there is a need to continue to build on the current efforts to improve user-centered designs. They say that using human factors and ergonomics in the design and implementation of Health IT can help. The report published last year identified the areas that need to be addressed to improve the usability of Healthcare Information Technology:

  1. Harmonized clinical content
  2. Better alignment of EHRs with clinical workflow
  3. Promotion of implementation decisions for satisfaction, clinician efficacy, and a lower burden
  4. Optimized user interface design

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