Digital healthcare systems have the power to save lives. According to findings from Google Think, about 77% of American adults have gone online to investigate a medical condition. A more informed patient with access to information provided by digital healthcare systems will make better decisions, preventing serious health problems in the future.
Indeed, the digital health revolution has arrived! What are some of the underlying forces that will determine how seamless the push to the cloud is? Here are three:
A “Patient-Centric” Design
A user-friendly digital healthcare system should focus on who will use the software. User-driven design of healthcare systems and applications requires a deep understanding of how real users experience the software. The design should reflect the needs of all users, whether healthcare professionals or patients. A good digital healthcare provider conducts testing frequently throughout the development process to ensure that it functions properly and remains user-friendly. The EHR system that links the 37 Kaiser hospitals in the United States took five years (and $4 billion) to fully deploy – ample time to ensure usability by gathering feedback and making improvements along the way.
User-Friendliness is Paramount
The average user must be able to navigate through the system. So what factors make an online health system accessible to the average Joe? The following checklist uses principles identified by usability consultant Jakob Nielsen and computer science professor Ben Shneiderman to measure a user-friendly online health care system:
– The ease for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they use the solution.
– The speed at which users can perform tasks when they become familiar with the solution.
– The ease of ‘getting back up to speed’ after a period of not using the solution.
– The number of user-made errors, their severity, and the ease of correction.
– User ratings on a common scale of how much they like using the solution.
Digital Training for a Digital Platform
In order to make an impact, patients and healthcare professionals must feel comfortable using these systems. Even a well-designed digital healthcare solution can confuse new users at first. Using guidance tools helps new and returning users navigate a digital healthcare platform better. Guidance and engagement platforms improve the “learnability” and “memorability” of a site. This software can also save time and money in training healthcare professionals how to more effectively and efficiently use the system.
The future of digital healthcare depends on the ability for patients and healthcare professionals alike to use the system with ease. As the industry continues to improve user accessibility, digital healthcare solutions have the power to improve the overall quality of healthcare, alleviate shortage in the number of physicians, and encourage lower medical expenses… ultimately saving lives.
This article is part of an ebook called “3 Key Trends Shaping Digital Healthcare & Why UX is Critical in all of Them.”
The White Paper covers a range of topics including:
Chapter 1: Patient-Centricity and the Digital Healthcare User Experience
Chapter 2: The Growing Use of Electronic Health Records
Chapter 3: Mobile Healthcare Solutions.