The American Medical Association at its annual meeting has called for standardization of major components of user interfaces for electronic health records systems.

Standardization would make it easier for physicians using different records systems in multiple facilities to quickly find the information they need, according to an AMA statement. "EMR user interfaces are comprised of icons, screen menus, keyboard shortcuts and control sequences that make it possible for physicians to interact with the software or operating system. Studies have documented physicians' difficulty in efficiency locating critical patient information in EMR systems due to poor user interface design."

The association also will push for standardized login procedures and parameters to reduce user "login fatigue," and for continued research and user interface designs that can improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care.

"It is well documented that the most common barrier to successful EMR implementation is the impact of an EMR on clinical productivity and workflow," according to a report from the AMA's Board of Trustees. "Furthermore, when information becomes difficult to use efficiently, care processes may be compromised. For physicians who see patients in more than one facility, each with a unique interface design requiring significant variation in work processes and constant adaptation, that risk is multiplied."

 

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