Health information technology is revolutionizing the way we interact with health-related data. One example of this can be seen in the rising adoption rates of electronic health records by healthcare providers. Nursing plays a vital role in electronic health record adoption, not only because of their numbers but also their intimate understanding of workflow. The success of an electronic health record also relies on how usable the software is for clinicians, and a thorough usability evaluation is needed before implementing a system within an organization. Not all nurses have the knowledge and skills to perform extensive usability testing; therefore, the informatics nurse specialist plays a critical role in the process. This article will discuss core usability principles, provide a framework for applying these concepts, and explore the role of the informatics nurse specialist in electronic health record evaluation. Health information technology is fundamentally changing the clinical practice environment, and many nurses are seeking leadership positions in the field of informatics. As technology and software become more sophisticated, usability principles must be used under theguidance of the informatics nurse specialist to provide a relevant, robust, and well-designed electronic health record to address the needs of the busy clinician.
Author Affiliations: Informatics Nurse Specialist, Health Informatics Specialist (Ms Rojas), Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA; Nursing Informatics Specialist, Assistant Professor, Course Director(Dr Seckman), Organizational Systems and Adult Health, School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore.
The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.
Corresponding author: Crystal L. Rojas, MS, RN-BC, PHN, 2232 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92706 (Crystal.Rojas@UMaryland.edu).