The Imperative of Solving Nurses’ Usability Problems With Health Information Technology

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Health information technology (IT) usability issues are a key concern for nurse executives and nurses.

OBJECTIVES

The aims of this study are to understand usability pain points faced by nurses regarding the use of health IT, identify their impact and importance, discuss responsibilities, and develop possible solutions to improve the health IT-user experience for nurses.

METHODS

Twenty-seven experts were interviewed including nursing leaders, informaticists, executives, engineers, researchers, and human factors experts across acute care, long-term care, and vendor settings. Semistructured questions guided the interviews, and content analysis was used to identify themes.

RESULTS

Four themes emerged: 1) user experience pain points, 2) importance of the issues, 3) the responsibility gap, and 4) acting on usability issues.

CONCLUSION

Nurses continue to endure significant health IT-usability issues that negatively impact patients, nurses, and healthcare organizations. Solutions include enhancing the voice of nursing at the national and local levels, creating a digital strategy for nursing, providing incentives to improve usability in health IT, and accelerating the understanding of nurses' work intended to inform and translate nurses' work into health IT design.

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