Functional Analysis of User Interfaces in an Electronic Health Record System using UFuRT Framework

Author: Zhen Zhang, MD

Primary Advisor: Muhammad F. Walji, PhD (co-author)

Committee Members: Vilma L. Patel, PhD (co-author); Ron Gimbel, Phd (co-author); Jiajie Zhang, PhD (co-author)

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


Objective: The overall aim is to evaluate the usability of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system using a systematic work-centered framework UFuRT. This paper focusing on Functional Analysis is to investigate the necessity of functions provided in user interfaces. Design: Operations were identified and then classified as Domain or Overhead Functions by independent evaluators. Ten physician and fourteen nurse users rated Domain Functions on a 1 to 5 scale for Importance, Frequency and Patient Safety. Results: Inter-rater agreements were acceptable for all classifications. In Assessment and Plan section, 35% of Operations were Overhead Functions, and nurses and physicians have significant discrepancies in perceived importance, frequency and patient safety of Domain Functions. Conclusion: Functional analysis using UFuRT framework was an operationalizable tool to distinguish essential functions from potentially redundant functions. This approach can effectively identify the redundancy and lack of user specificity of functions supported in an EHR system.