Anyone who's ever shopped for a new EHR system has encountered sales reps who've bragged that their software was “user-friendly.” From a sales standpoint, it sure sounds good, but is it truly user-friendly? And is it more user-friendly than other EHR systems? It helps to know what to look for.
6 Signs That an EHR Software System Is (or Isn't) User-Friendly
Here is something you will never hear from an EHR sales rep: “Our EHR is not user-friendly.”
No rep ever said that unless they were a) intentionally trying to blow the sale, or b) too honest for their own good. And honestly, no matter how it might be promoted, not all EHR software is genuinely user-friendly. But judge for yourself: Are there too many pop-up windows, too many screens, too many buttons, or generally just too much stuff crammed onto a single screen.
Remember: The objective is never to navigate through the clutter. It's to work on a system that's as organized, easily tailored to your needs, and clutter-free as possible.
Unfortunately, the term “user-friendly” is so cliché anymore that it's faded into white noise - kind of like a car salesman trying to sell you on the fact that "this car has tires." Well, of course it does, but how good are those tires? Not all tires are the same quality, and the same applies to EHR. Some are far more user-friendly than others.
How can you tell the difference? Here’s what to look for when you're kicking the tires on different software systems:
1. Shortcut bars
With a simple drag-and-drop, you can configure this feature to include only the tabs and tools that you use most frequently for your particular role. Maybe you just want to display your messages and to-do’s. Or your care plan and visit reviews. You can do that, and with advantages that include:
Faster navigation of the system.
Elimination of distracting, non-essential clutter from your screen.
No need to call your EHR vendor if you want to configure (or reconfigure) your shortcuts the way you’d like them.
2. Search functions
There are two basic ways to conduct searches on your EHR software. One is a laborious “tree-based” method that requires you to click through multiple tabs to find what you’re looking for (assuming you know the proper tabs to click.) This has the potential to be a time-wasting trial-and-error exercise.
The alternative is a “quick search” approach that allows you type what you’re looking for in a search field and have it instantly pop up on your screen. Better yet, you can then bookmark it to find it more quickly next time you need it. This version is obviously more user-friendly.
3. Toggling Between Facilities
If you work at a multi-facility practice, a truly user-friendly software will allow you to seamlessly toggle from one facility to another without forcing you to constantly log out of one facility before logging into another. Likewise, the software should allow you to view schedules and multiple providers – whether they’re working at one or more than one facility – on a single screen at one time.
4. Software resources
All vendors offer tech support throughout the week during certain hours. But what if you want a refresher about your system? Or what if it’s the weekend, a holiday or after-hours, and you want to trouble-shoot something yourself? What resources, if any, does the vendor supply? Ideally, they’ll have easy-to-access video demonstrations and literature to walk you through the process.
5. Preview feature
Providers often complain – and with good reason – about their daily click count. Whether it’s 2,000 or 4,000 clicks a day, it contributes to system fatigue and burnout. That’s where the preview can help. Instead of clicking on a “tool tip” to learn its contents, you can instead hover your cursor over it and get enough information before deciding if it’s worth clicking for additional information. This process is infinitely faster than clicking in and out of multiple items before finding what you need.
Most vendors will tell you their software is cloud-based and accessible nearly anywhere that has an internet connection, and that may be true. But will their software configure to the size, shape and kind of the device you’re on? A user-friendly EHR system will automatically render to the size of your screen, whether it’s vertical, horizontal, on a phone, a tablet or a laptop.
Likewise, if a vendor tells you that you can access their EHR on any device, find out if it requires plug-ins or apps to make that happen. If so, it’s not as friendly as it might at first appear.
The Secret to InSync's User-Friendly EHR Software
What's the easiest way to learn if a particular EHR software has most of the six features mentioned above? Ask the vendor this question: "Does your software use MVC technology?"
If the answer is no, their EHR software is probably less user-friendly than it should be.
MVC technology doesn't just enable most of these user-friendly features, it enables you to easily navigate and configure them in ways that best meet your unique needs and workflows.
At InSync Healthcare Solutions, EHR software is developed with superior MVC technology that dramatically reverses the "death by a thousand clicks and pop-ups" dilemma that frustrates and wears down so many providers and practices.
See how well the EHR scales to its display in a brief video demonstration.
For a closer look at how our user-friendly software system can streamline your organization's workflows, schedule a demo now with one of our experts. We're happy to explain how our system can save you time and money and how our user-friendly system can ease your transition to a new EHR software.