Does Usability in an Electronic Medical Record System Pay?

Author: Aaron Gainer, BSN, RN 

Primary Advisor: Pamela D. Salye, PhD

Committee Members: James P. Turley, PhD, RN; Katherin Johnson-Throop, PhD

Masters thesis, The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Health Information Sciences at Houston.

Usability is defined as the “act of making things convenient or easy to use” and is the focus of this study1. Electronic documentation describes the care of a patient and is a time consuming process often hindered by the lack of usability found in most electronic medical records (EMRs). Poor usability slows down the process of documentation and ultimately costs the institution salary dollars. The solution then turns to devoting resources to make the EMR more usable and the ultimate return on investment. In this paper, we examine the effects of usability and efficiency of documentation of health information.