Philosophy of EHR: Form and Function

May 7, 2012
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Written by Ahmed Mori, Content Writer at CareCloud

Written by Ahmed Mori, Content Writer at CareCloud

According to philosopher Monroe Beardsley, aesthetic soundness depends on function within a particular context. This entails a marriage of form and function that spills over into anything from interior design to documentary filmmaking.

Information technology has become a major focus of the applied aesthetics school of thought. In the video above, CareCloud’s Director of Product Development Michael Gold analyzes the conflict between user and system arising from poor EHR design.

We dig deeper into the link between applied aesthetics and EHR design below in the second installment of our Philosophy of EHR series.

Applied Aesthetic Approaches
The relationship between EHRs and aesthetics lies primarily within user experience design and human-computer interaction. By linking behavioral science – namely cognitive psychology – with technology design, thinkers and designers can create more user-friendly products that promote a dialogue between system and user.

Tools, particularly those that are effectively designed, are interpreted neurologically as corporeal extensions of the user. This makes usability essential to EHR design, yet it isn’t always given the same level of attention as software features, functions and technical standards.

The HIMSS EHR Usability Task Force defines usability as the “effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specific users can achieve a specific set of tasks in a particular environment.”

Dr. Kathleen Harder, director of the Center for Design in Health at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design, believes designers must take into account the strengths and weaknesses of human information processing to design “cognitively digestible” health systems.

Achieving effectiveness and efficiency in EHR design comes about as a result of fostering human cognitive performance, which logically contributes to error reduction. ‘Smart’ designers, or those with an understanding of cognitive psychology, are imperative to good usability.

For additional reading on electronic health records, download our “The End of EMR” whitepaper today!

As communicators, designers think about how information must be presented and understand how altering data in subtle ways has a huge impact on cognition.

About CareCloud:

CareCloud is a leading provider of cloud-based practice management, electronic health records (EHR) and medical billing software and services for medical groups. The company’s products are connecting providers to one another – and to their patients – through a fully integrated digital healthcare ecosystem that can be accessed on any browser or device.

 

 

   

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