Usability and utility have been described as the missing links in evaluation of healthcare information systems.
Dr Ian McGrath, from RMIT University, presented the idea at the Worldwide Nursing Conference.
McGrath said usability relates to how easy the system is to use, whereas utility relates to whether it does what users want it to do.
He said: “There's been some research into the usability of information systems used in healthcare. The evaluation of utility really hasn't been examined at all.
“There are very limited options to assess utility of a system directly," he continued. "While there are options to examine usability, these usability measurements or evaluation tools, when they have been applied in information systems used in healthcare, have identified aspects that are certainly good but also aspects of information systems that have been developed that are of concern in relation to possibly inducing user errors associated with … a user's ability to get the system to do what they need it to do.”
In his presentation, McGrath mentioned that there are insufficient numbers of trained clinical informaticians and even fewer people with healthcare and usability knowledge. Even smaller is the number of nurses who are informaticians with healthcare and usability knowledge.
In an interview with Nursing Review, McGrath discussed this idea, as well as ways evaluation of usability and utility of healthcare information systems could be improved.Do you have an idea for a story?
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