New Article Highlights Key Roadblock to EHR Usability

I’m excited to share a new article that has just been published in the Journal for Electronic Health Data and Methods (eGEMs) that highlights a critical issue that is impeding improvements in EHR usability. The article—written with co-authors Saif Khairat, Cam Coleman and Samantha Russomagno—reports the results from a survey we conducted of 126 professionals in the health informatics community regarding (1) access to EHRs, and (2) the ability to publish usability-focused findings including screenshots of existing interfaces.

Most critically, the survey showed that across a broad range of roles and institutions, just 1 in 3¬†respondents could freely publish screenshots with results of usability testing. Moreover, half of the respondents couldn’t publish their data at all.

In our discussion, we argue that eliminating restrictions (whether imposed by EHR vendors, or by health institutions) is critical for the advancement of EHR usability. Solutions will require a conversation about shared responsibility of all stakeholders to eliminate barriers that stand in the way of improvements for these critical systems.

Khairat, S., Coleman, G. C., Russomagno, S., & Gotz, D. (2018). Assessing the Status Quo of EHR Accessibility, Usability, and Knowledge Dissemination. eGEMs (Generating Evidence & Methods to improve patient outcomes), 6 (1), 9. DOI:

Sch of Inform and Libr Science